Personal identity and moral responsibility

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Major in Philosophy


College of Liberal Arts




Awarded as best thesis, 2008

Thesis Adviser

Jeremiah Joven B. Joaquin

Defense Panel Member

Noelle Leslie G. Dela Cruz
Gansham T. Mansukhani
Dennis D.G. Apolega


The thesis investigates on the relation between the concept of personal identity and moral responsibility.

What makes us the person we are? How do we know that the person we are now is the same the person that was days, months, and years ago? More importantly, are theories of personal identity important to account for moral responsibility? Conceptual and linguistic analyses of the theories were provided, exposing the strengths and weaknesses of each criterion.

Personal identity seems to be a crucial foundation for some of the most important aspects of human existence, like interpersonal relationships and ethical issues. These ethical issues are not limited to philosophy classes. They can be seen and heard everywhere: in the streets, in the news. We live (and sometimes die) with these issues it is present every single day of our lives. One of these issues is moral responsibility. Basically, moral responsibility reflects the relation between the agent and the action that he/she committed.

Throughout the history of the relation, it was John Locke who made an explicit attempt to connect personal identity and moral responsibility. He was heavily criticized by other philosophers and others viewed him as a failure. However, a reexamination of his work reveals that most criticisms arose from a misunderstanding of his concept of the person and the problem of personal identity. This prompts us to view the relation in a different light.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

111 leaves ; 28 cm.


Identity; Ethics; Responsibility

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