Recent Studies and Considerations on Personhood, Identity and Consciousness in Locke’s Thought

  • Luisa Simonutti Istituto per la storia del pensiero filosofico e scientifico moderno - C.N.R. Milano
Keywords: Personal identity, Persons, Consciousness, Memory, Responsibility, Locke, Cudworth


This brief note aims to explore some of the most recent contributions on Locke’s philosophy and the continental philosophy of the late 17th century, which offer fresh conceptual material for mapping out a novel concept of consciousness and personal identity. During the 17th century, certain key terms in epistemology and the history of thought came to acquire new connotations alongside the more classical ones. The notions of conscience, identity and personhood play a central role; in particular, in Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding and in his theory of knowledge these concepts are indebted to certain aspects of Cudworth’s thought on conscience and to the intense exchange of correspondence with Molyneux on the topics of consciousness, responsibility and the juridical accountability of the individual.

Notes and debates