Locke, Kierkegaard, and the phenomenology of personal identity

Stokes, Patrick 2008, Locke, Kierkegaard, and the phenomenology of personal identity, International journal of philosophical studies, vol. 16, no. 5, pp. 645-672, doi: 10.1080/09672550802493793.

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Title Locke, Kierkegaard, and the phenomenology of personal identity
Author(s) Stokes, PatrickORCID iD for Stokes, Patrick orcid.org/0000-0001-9574-6064
Journal name International journal of philosophical studies
Volume number 16
Issue number 5
Start page 645
End page 672
Total pages 28
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2008
ISSN 0967-2559
1466-4542
Keyword(s) Kierkegaard
Locke
Schechtman
personal identity
contemporaneity
Summary Personal Identity theorists as diverse as Derek Parfit, Marya Schechtman and Galen Strawson have noted that the experiencing subject (the locus of present psychological experience) and the person (a human being with a career/narrative extended across time) are not necessarily coextensive. Accordingly, we can become psychologically alienated from, and fail to experience a sense of identity with, the person we once were or will be. This presents serious problems for Locke’s original account of “sameness of consciousness” constituting personal identity, given the distinctly normative (and indeed eschatological) focus of his discussion. To succeed, the Lockean project needs to identify some phenomenal property of experience that can constitute a sense of identity with the self figured in all moments to which consciousness can be extended. I draw upon key themes in Kierkegaard’s phenomenology of moral imagination to show that Kierkegaard describes a phenomenal quality of experience that unites the experiencing subject with its past and future, regardless of facts about psychological change across time. Yet Kierkegaard’s account is fully normative, recasting affective identification with past/future selves as a moral task rather than something merely psychologically desirable (Schechtman) or utterly contingent (Parfit, Strawson).
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09672550802493793
Field of Research 220309 Metaphysics
220310 Phenomenology
Socio Economic Objective 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30063326

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Created: Sat, 17 May 2014, 19:43:56 EST by Patrick Stokes

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