Identity and Memory

  • Hywel D. Lewis
Part of the Philosophy of Religion Series book series (PHRES)


The way we normally identify persons other than ourselves is through their bodies. My wife has just brought me a cup of tea. I know it was her because I saw her. My friend Brown has called, and I know that I am talking to Brown because I see him sitting in the chair. I may, on a very remote chance in these cases, be mistaken. If I was very deep in my work and did not look round I may not have noticed that my wife had sent the daily help up with the tea. Or my wife and Brown could have been impersonated by someone playing a trick on me. It would need indeed to be an almost unbelievably clever impersonation in these instances of persons I know so well. No one would be troubled by such a possibility. If I had looked and thought I saw my wife then I am sure that it was her.


Personal Identity Perceptual Experience Past Event Basic Sense Memory Image 
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Copyright information

© Hywel D. Lewis 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hywel D. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.King’s CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

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