Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Final Blog Post
The prince and Cobbler
What were you like as a baby? If you have one, look at a photograph taken at the time. what do you see? was that really you? You probably look quiet different now. Can you remember what it was like being baby?
Such questions of what makes someone the same person over time is ruining through philosopher Locke's mind. we all change over time. We grow, we develop, mature, decline, forget things. most of us get wrinklier, eventually our hair turns white or falls out, we change our views, our friends, our dress sense, our priority. So, in what sense, will you be the same person as the baby when you are old?
As Locke mentioned, this can relate to socks. if you have a sock with a hole in it and you patch that hole up, and then patch up another hole, eventually you might end up with a sock that consist just of the patches, with none of the original material there at all. would that still be the same sock? In one sense it is, because there is continuity of parts from the original to the completely patched up sock. but in another sense it isn't the same sock, because none of the original material is there. So, one way to of approaching the question about what makes a human being the same person over time would be to point out that we are living things as John mentioned. He said that, you are the same individual animal that you were as a baby. He used the word "man" (meaning by "man or woman") to refer to the human animal. Locke thought it was true to say that over a life each of us remain the same "man" in the sense. There is a continuity of the living human being that develops in the course of its life. But according to Locke being the same 'man' was very different from being the same person.
So, regarding Locke, i could be the same "man", but not the same person i was previously. how could that be? what makes us the same person over time? According to Locke, our consciousness our awareness of our own selves is what makes us the same person over time. what you can't remember isn't part of you as a person. To clarify this Locke imagined a prince waking up with cobbler's memories; and a cobbler with a prince's memories. The prince wake up as usual in his place, and to outside appearance is the same person he was when he went to sleep. But because he has the cobbler's memories instead of his own, he feels the he is the cobbler. What matters in questions about personal identity is psychological continuity. So, If you have the prince's memories, then you are the prince. But if you have the cobbler's memories, you are the cobbler, even if you have the body of a prince. Another thing Locke believe is that God would only punish people for crimes the remember committing so for him, someone who no longer remember doing evil would not be the same person who committed the crime. He said, In everyday life, of course, people lie about what the remember. So, if someone claim to have forgotten what they have done, judge are reluctant to let them go. But because God knows everything, he will be able to tell who deserves punishment and doesn't.
So in you opinion......What makes you the same person over time? You think you are the same person you were as a baby? Do you believe that God only punishes you for evil you remember committing or not?