Me, Myself, and I

Locke’s argument of identity and diversity made my head spin, simply because he examines it way more thoroughly than most people do. When I think of identity, I mostly define it as something that makes it who or what they are. However, Locke goes farther than that by describing in terms of existence; there is only one version of you, and every place and second that the state changes, that version of you is no more. It exists by itself. Even though you still continue to be “you,” those versions of you are only the diversity of your existence.

You could say that this was a concept that really puzzled me. Even if you change, wouldn’t you still be yourself? Or does that mean that every breath that I take, every move that I make (hah), I will be someone different. Locke’s writing style was complicated because of the long rambling sentences, but in the end, his argument boils down to this.

When I read this argument, I thought of parallel worlds. The theory of parallel universes is that every decision that I make, there is another me in another universe that make the other decision. And since it doesn’t even have to be a decision, it can just be me walking with the other food in that one instant, the theory comes down to the fact that there could be over trillions of parallel universes. These different version of me are diverse, but they are not, according to Locke, identical.

(This reminded me of something that I always thought about. Sometimes, I wondered that after I died, whether I could be reincarnated into someone completely different, as a different place of a different time, place, race, and family. When you are this new version of yourself, you wouldn’t know of your past self, so this could have happened to you hundreds of times from the dawn of civilization. Would this other version of you still be classified as you? But this is just a weird thought I have to myself).





One response to “Me, Myself, and I

  1. I am glad to hear I am not the only one to find Locke’s ideas a bit baffling! I also liked your little tangent at the end discussing reincarnation. I have actually wondered the same thing myself, but I think it adds to the confusion of this “identity” situation. I mean it is hard to decide what is considered “you.” Taking the boat example we talked about in class, I have grown up around boats and even when the ships go through new experiences or remodels, many people consider it the same ship.
    However, is it a remodeled version of the ship really the same ship? If an old worn out boat gets upgraded with better equipment and new sails and now has the ability to win a bunch of races, is it still the same worn out ship? Or is it a new better version? Is it still the same because of the experiences it has gone through, or is its identity dependent on worn out vs. new? The questions could go on and on and I’m sure we’ll discuss these things further in class…

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