more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5327

[catalogued under 16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / c. Inadequacy of mental continuity]

Full Idea

If there were temporal gaps in the consciousness of disembodied spirits, the occurrences of memory-experiences would not be sufficient to bridge them.

Gist of Idea

Temporal gaps in the consciousness of a spirit could not be bridged by memories


A.J. Ayer (The Central Questions of Philosophy [1973], §VI.C)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'The Central Questions of Philosophy' [Penguin 1976], p.125

A Reaction

Ayer is very sympathetic to the idea that the body is a key ingredient in personal identity. Without a body, there would be no criteria at all for the continuity of a spirit which lost consciousness for a while, since consciousness is all it is.