I am aware that the question is somewhat vague, but I am trying to locate where in Locke's writings the argument about identity – exemplified with him repairing his socks again and again – is to be found. This example (i.e. that Locke darned his socks whenever they were torn, thus raising the question of the identity of the socks) appears sometimes in philosophy books / articles on identity, but I didn't manage to find to it any mention in Locke's writings themselves. Can someone help me with that? Also, if indeed Locke did not mention it, where does the "sock"-story appear for the first time with respect to Locke? Thanks!

  • That reminds me of Bertrand Russell's remark that you don't need the axiom of choice to pick out one shoe from each of infinitely many pairs of shoes; but you do need choice to pick out one sock. Are there many other philosophical sock stories?
    – user4894
    Oct 18, 2021 at 22:11
  • Locke discusses identity in Book 2, Chapter 27 of An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, see SEP, Locke on Personal Identity. The sock example was recently made up by Martin Cohen in Philosophy for Dummies, the traditional example is the Ship of Theseus.
    – Conifold
    Oct 19, 2021 at 0:46


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