Personal Identity


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Nicknamed the “Father of Modern Philosophy” for the immense contributions his works have made to western philosophy, French philosopher Descartes’ thought-provoking writings continue to be studied long after his demise as they raise questions every human being grapples with at one point or the other in their lives. Questions such as “Who or what am I”, “Where did I come from and where do I go when I die?” or “Is there life after death” have oft troubled many a person with varied results. Some have resigned to be content in the bliss of their ignorance, while others, especially philosophers, have gone the extra step to study, and even put forward their explanations or theories to answer the aforementioned questions. Descartes propositioned that he was, at the basic core, a thinking thing, a mind that had the capacity to exist outside the body. A number of philosophers found this idea queer especially the concept of one having the ability to introspect and find one’s self. Hume for instance critiqued this idea opining that men had no direct knowledge of or experience of the self; but only had knowledge of specific feelings, memories, and the like.