In this essay, I argue that a normative understanding of narrative identity provides a convincing answer to the issue of the unity of the self. I start by examining Locke’s difficulties in reconciling the metaphysical assumptions of his account of personal identity in terms of consciousness and memory with its practical implications. I proceed by considering Hume’s different ways of dealing with personal identity, as something to be re-identified in the course of time, on the one hand, and as the focus of our concerns, on the other. I then move to the contemporary defence of narrative identity and conclude by touching upon Galen Strawson’s criticism of it.
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