Locke Studies 16:3–39 (2016)

Ruth Boeker
University College Dublin
According to Locke, appropriation is a precondition for moral responsibility and thus we can expect that it plays a distinctive role in his theory. Yet it is rare to find an interpretation of Locke’s account of appropriation that does not associate it with serious problems. To make room for a more satisfying understanding of Locke’s account of appropriation we have to analyse why it was so widely misunderstood. The aim of this paper is fourfold: First, I will show that Mackie’s and Winkler’s interpretations that have shaped the subsequent discussion contain serious flaws. Second, I will argue that the so-called appropriation interpretation —that is the view that appropriation is meant to provide alternative persistence conditions for persons—lacks support. Third, I will re-examine Locke’s texts and argue that we can come to a better understanding of his notion of appropriation in the Essay if we interpret it in analogy to his account of appropriation in Two Treatises. Fourth, I will offer a more fine-grained interpretation of the role of appropriation in relation to persistence conditions for persons. I conclude by showing that the advantage of this proposal is that it reconciles interpretations that have commonly been thought to be inconsistent.
Keywords John Locke  appropriation  person  personal identity
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References found in this work BETA

Locke on Personal Identity.Shelley Weinberg - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (6):398-407.
Locke on Personal Identity.Kenneth Winkler - 1991 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 29 (2):201-226.
Locke on Persons and Personal Identity.David P. Behan - 1979 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):53 - 75.
Locke on Personal Identity.Kenneth P. Winkler - 1998 - In Vere Chappell (ed.), Locke. Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Madness as Method: On Locke’s Thought Experiments About Personal Identity.Kathryn Tabb - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (5):871-889.
A Objeção de Thomas Reid À Teoria Lockiana da Identidade Pessoal.Vinícius França Freitas - 2020 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 24 (1):147-164.

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