Santa Barbara City College The Concept of Personal Identity Essay


PAPER #3 (due by Thursday, Dec. 10, 11:59 pm; late papers will be penalized and will be accepted only until Dec. 12 at 11:58pm)

Answer one of the following questions in no more than 1000 words; however, I recommend writing more than 750 words. A title would be great. Dialogue form, in part or whole, can be used. Quotes, if used, should be placed directly in the text. To refer to a specific page number simply place the number in parentheses.

a. What is Locke’s theory of personal identity? What problems does it face?

b. What is the “missing shade of blue” example? Does it constitute a serious problem for Hume’s account of ideas and impressions (especially his “Copy Principle”)?

c. What is Hume’s account of causation? Also, is his approach mainly a negative (“destructive”) one? Or is he offering his own positive (“constructive”) account of causation?

d. According to Hume, what is the problem of induction? Is it a problem that needs to be solved? Or is it not really an important problem at all?

e. How does Hume argue that it is never rational to believe in miracles? What is a problem with his argument? Can Hume adequately answer that problem?


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