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Showing posts from October 14, 2012

from the Mundus Intellectualis to the pornographic sofa: Locke on personal Identity, 3

Character is the adventure of personal identity. Here's a maxim I can stand on. And kick against. Because maybe it isn't. The problem with a maxim is that it locks its truth inside it and loses the combination. Or rather, that combination becomes the truth. It is as though a safe became the treasure for which it is designed to be the receptacle. So to start over… Locke’s chapter on Personal Identity was added to the Essay in 1694, the scholarship says, at the request of William Molyneux, the Dublin savant. Indeed, in the famous letter in which Molyneux propounded the problem that has been named after him – that of a man born blind who suddenly receives his sense of sight, and whether he would know shapes and colors – Molyneux also suggests that Locke expatiate a little more largely on the principium individuationus , the seed of the chapter on personal identity. Locke replied with some reference to Malebranche, and Molyneux in turn advised on engaging against t