Hume's Worries About Personal Identity

Robert J. Fogelin

in Philosophical Interpretations

Published in print April 1992 | ISBN: 9780195071627
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833221 | DOI:
Hume's Worries About Personal Identity

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In the Appendix to his Treatise of Human Nature, Hume expressed his dissatisfaction with his treatment of the topic of personal identity. Unfortunately, he was not altogether forthcoming about what was bothering him, and, as a result, a variety of interpretations have been put forward on this matter. The suggestion presented in this chapter is that Hume's difficulties about personal identity are grounded in a rejection of the notion of a substantial soul or self in which ideas could inhere. Moreover, Hume also thinks that ideas themselves count as substances and thus neither need to nor can adhere in something else. Given this degree of separateness and looseness, it seems impossible to give any account of how the notion of personal identity could arise.

Keywords: Hume; personal identity; self; soul; substance; Treatise of Human Nature

Chapter.  4974 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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