Hume and the idea of personal identity essay

Hume refutes the existence of all material and immaterial substances. Hume thinks that the source of this error lies in the resemblance amongst what one might want to call "different time slices of the mental realm".

Hyde's memory, and converso modo, the latter cannot recall anything that the former does; in short, they do not have the same N. There is a very remarkable circumstance, that attends this experiment; which is, that tho' the change of any considerable part in a mass of matter destroys the identity of the whole, let we must measure the greatness of the part, not absolutely, but by its proportion to the whole.

If all our perceptions are different and independent to each other and there is no idea of self then, Hume questions how were they organized and related to each other.

hume believes that the self is immaterial.

For Hume perfect identity holds between a perception and an object if that perception is unchanging and uninterrupted. Block, O. And in this view our identity with regard to the passions serves to corroborate that with regard to the imagination, by the making our distant perceptions influence each other, and by giving us a present concern for our past or future pains or pleasures.

humes fictional self

In order to justify to ourselves this absurdity, we often feign some new and unintelligible principle, that connects the objects together, and prevents their interruption or variation.

Book, 1 Part 4, Sect 2, P. And why do we attribute to it mistakenly the notion of sameness? This is only by the reason of imagiantion that we do with another objects.

Hume and the idea of personal identity essay

This question 'tis impossible to answer without a manifest contradiction and absurdity; and yet 'tis a question, which must necessarily be answer'd, if we wou'd have the idea of self pass for clear and intelligible. But if this is the situation, sameness of mind will require some independent basis, and the only plausible independent basis is association with the same body. Then, A and B are the same person if they have the same N. Our chief business, then, must be to prove, that all objects, to which we ascribe identity, without observing their invariableness and uninterruptedness, are such as consist of a succession of related objects. How to cite this page Choose cite format:. Actually, he himself knows that his principle is not completely satisfactory. Hume did not consider personality as a necessarily stable characteristic of the individual. According to the novel, they are two completely different personalities who share one body.

He also believes that we often attribute identity in an improper sense, like when we attach the label to variable or interrupted objects. Hume did not consider personality as a necessarily stable characteristic of the individual.

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Defending Hume’s Theory of Personal Identity and Discarding the Appendix