This essay aims to point out the differences that exist between Lockean theory of personal identity and the conception based on genetic analysis in Husserlian constitutive phenomenology. Starting from a reconstruction of the notions characterizing the modern Lockean invention of personal identity, the paper tries to show how this view remains tied to a sense of individuality that involves an indissoluble bond between self-consciousness and the consciousness of personal continuity. In particular with regard to its practical or forensic aspect, Locke’s account ascribes to consciousness and memory a decisive role in the constitution of personal identity. In contrast, Husserl’s account of personal identity is based on the idea of functioning and impressional intentionality, which provides an appropriate account of our identity through time, clarifying the nature of the teleological perspective of becoming a person, within the framework of the transcendental phenomenology of otherness and intersubjectivity.
Keywords: Personal identity, phenomenology, Husserl, Locke, memory, consciousness, intersubjectivity, functioning intentionality.