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Philosophical Interpretations$
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Robert J. Fogelin

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195071627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019507162X.001.0001

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Hume's Worries About Personal Identity

Hume's Worries About Personal Identity

Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Hume's Worries About Personal Identity
Source:
Philosophical Interpretations
Author(s):

Robert J. Fogelin (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019507162X.003.0006

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

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