Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX. - The Works, vol. 2 An Essay concerning Human Understanding Part 2 and Other Writings
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APPENDIX. - John Locke, The Works, vol. 2 An Essay concerning Human Understanding Part 2 and Other Writings 
The Works of John Locke in Nine Volumes, (London: Rivington, 1824 12th ed.). Vol. 2.
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A friend, well acquainted with the subject of the foregoing sheets, having communicated to me some observations concerning the use of the word Person, which came too late to be inserted in their proper place, I must take the liberty of annexing them, though they occasion some more redundancies and repetitions, in order to throw as much light as is possible on this very obscure and long controverted question.
As Mr. Locke’s definition of the term person, (chap. xxvii. § 9.) may possibly create some difficulty, it will be proper to examine into the sense which should be put upon this word, whenever we inquire after the identity of any man’s person; which may perhaps at once lead us to a just conception of the whole. In the aforementioned section, Mr. Locke says, that person stands for “a thinking intelligent being, that has reason and reflection,” &c. whereas I should imagine, the expression would have been more just, had he said that the word person stands for an attribute, or quality, or character of a thinking intelligent being; in the same sense as Tully uses it, Orat. pro Syll. § 3. “Hanc mihi tu si, propter res meas gestas, imponis in omni vitâ meâ personam, Torquate, vehementer erras. Me natura misericordem, patria severum; crudelem nec patria, nec natura esse voluit: denique istam ipsam personam vehementem et acrem, quam mihi tum tempus et respublica imposuit, jam voluntas et natura ipsa detraxit.” It came at last to be confounded with, and stand for homo gerens personam (Taylor, Civ. L. p. 247, 248.) and in this sense Locke has incautiously defined the word. It has attributed also to more intelligent beings than one; as by the jesuits in their declaration prefixed to the third book of Newton, alienam coacti sumus gerere personam. The word person then, according to the received sense in all classical authors, standing for a certain guise, character, quality, i. e. being in fact a mixed mode, or relation, and not a substance; we must next inquire, what particular character or quality it stands for in this place, as the same man may bear many characters and relations at the same, or different times. The answer is, that here it stands for that particular quality or character, under which a man is considered, when he is treated as an intelligent being subject to government and laws, and accountable for his actions: i. e. not the man himself, but an abstract consideration of him, for such and such particular ends: and to inquire after its identity is to inquire, not after the identity of a conscious being, but after the identity of a quality or attribute of such a conscious being. All difficulties that relate to a man’s forgetting some actions, &c. now vanish, when person is considered as a character, and not a substance, or confounded with homo gerens personam: and it amounts to no more than saying a man puts on a mask—continuing to wear it for some time—puts off one mask and takes another, i. e. appears to have consciousness—to recollect past consciousnesses—does not recollect them, &c. The impropriety consists in saying, a man is the same person with him who did such a fact; which is the same as to say, a man is blackness, guilt, &c. i. e. a mixed mode is predicated of a substance; whereas it ought to be, in strict propriety of speech, the person of the man who did such a fact, is the same with the person of him, who now stands before us; or, in plainer terms, the man who now stands before the court is conscious of the former facts, and is therefore the proper object of punishment. It may be observed, that the word personality is really an absurd expression; since person itself stands for the mixed mode or quality;—and personality therefore may be ranked among the old scholastic terms of corporeity, egoity, tableity, &c. or is even yet more harsh: as mixed modes, such as gratitude, murder, and therefore person, cannot be thus re-modified without peculiar absurdity.