Type: Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 354
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

In “The Second Night” opponents argue about the nature of identity: one of them sticks to the idea that it equals to bodily identity, while the other believes that one can identify a personality as a soul. In the considered passage, Miller attempts to refute the idea that an identity is confined to one’s body by providing arguments and metaphors. He suggests that his opponent’s argument works reversely as well: he can agree that an identity is not the immaterial soul but then he urges Weirob to accept that it is also true about bodily identity. “For you said that it could not be identity of immaterial soul because we were not judging as to identity of immaterial soul when we judge as to personal identity. But by the same token, as my example shows, we are not judging as to bodily identity when we judge as to personal identity”.

On a large scale, argumentation of Miller consists in the idea that there are situation when a person is not aware about their body but still remembers their identity. For instance, just after waking up before opening one’s eyes a person realizes who he or she is, that is before having a look at their body and making sure that it is theirs and belongs to them. In a more absurd argument, Miller exemplifies his point of view by Kafka’s Metamorphosis, when a man wakes up in the morning in a body of a cockroach. Despite this drastic physical change, his self-identity remains the same, which is in Miller’s vision is a proof that identity does not equal to one’s body.

Personally, I find Miller’s argument convincing and believe that identity cannot be confined to a person’s body. Although we mentally attach our personality to our body starting from birth, this link is only a mental construction. In fact, one can argue whether a body is part of identity or it does not belong to identity at all. In my opinion, it is a constituent of an identity but rather a secondary one, because it is rather an object of consciousness than a subject of it.

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