Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 10, 1980

John L. Mackie
Pages 87-90

Kant on Personal Identity

Kant, in the third paralogism, needs to be rescued from his commentators. His argument that the identity of one's consciousness of oneself is no proof of the numerical identity of a soul-substance, since an indistinguishable identity of consciousness could result from one subject's handing over of memories to another, is sound and complete, and does not need the supplementations offered by Strawson, Bennett and James Anderson. But a possible supplementation is that this identity of consciousness calls for explanation and is partly explained by the continuity of the central nervous system, though this continuity is not guaranteed or conceptually required by that identity.