Identity and differences : the role of memory, narrative, and history in personal identity
The main issue of this thesis is to analyse what kind of concept we have of 'personal
The concept of personal identity is basically examined in relation to memory in this
Recalling memory is supposed to make an intelligible account between
experiences. It gives meaning to what is remembered in accordance with the context of
that person's life. This work is compared to a narrative understanding of memory. Ile
unity of a person over time, which relates to the unity of personal identity, assumed to
be formed through making this narrative account (Chapter one and the first half of
However, there arises the question of whether all of our experiences can be managed by
the narrative account. Two issues are examined at this point: The insufficiency of that
narrative approach (die latter half of Chapter two) and the historical transformation of
tile concept of personal identity (Chapter three). The transformation is specifically
studied with influences of the media through time. The particularities of tile modem
period of time are specifically considered as the age from which the study of personal
identity has developed.
Today, however, the credibility of the modem concept of personal identity seems to be
in doubt. This doubt is summarised in the term 'postmodem'. The characteristics of and
the discontinuity between the modem and the postmodern are described in Chapter four.
Finally Chapter five investigates the particularities of the concept of identity in the
I conclude that the modem concept of personal identity has been effective in organising
society, but it has arrived during a time at which its boundary needs to be reconsidered.
Differences of a person, which are not identified within the narrative consistency of a
life, are a key-term in this thought.