more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5176

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 7. Self and Body / a. Self needs body]

Full Idea

We have solved Hume's problem by defining personal identity in terms of bodily identity, and bodily identity is to be defined in terms of the resemblance and continuity of sense-contents.

Gist of Idea

Empiricists can define personal identity as bodily identity, which consists of sense-contents


A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936], Ch.7)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Language, Truth and Logic' [Penguin 1974], p.168

A Reaction

This is a phenomenalist account of personal identity, so it has no independent account of the body apart from the contents of the mind. Personally I think we must distinguish 'central' mental events from 'peripheral' ones.