more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5668

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

Full Idea

I think personal identity depends on the identity of the body, and that a person's ownership of states of consciousness consists in their standing in a special causal relation to the body by which he is identified.

Gist of Idea

People own conscious states because they are causally related to the identifying body


A.J. Ayer (The Concept of a Person [1963], žIV)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'The Concept of a Person etc' [Macmillan 1973], p.116

A Reaction

I think with this is right, with the slight reservation that Ayer talks as if there were two things which have a causal relationship, implying that the link is contingent. Better to think of the whole thing as a single causal network.