David Hume And The Middle Of A Philosophic Dialogue Essay

David Hume And The Middle Of A Philosophic Dialogue Essay

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David Hume was a Scottish philosopher who lived in the 18th century. Hume marked a turning point in philosophy with his now almost infamous skepticism. And while he claimed to be a mild skeptic, the ramifications of his claims were felt by all subsequent philosophers. His critique was impactful for the sheer variety of subjects Hume seemingly uprooted. One such subject that Hume assaulted with his arguments was the idea of personal identity. Hume is in the middle of a philosophic dialogue were people reason metaphysical claims from arguments predicated upon the existence of the self. He does this to put an end to arguments that justify the soul and from that further claim erroneous notions such as god and substance before they can be made. Hume would compare our sense of self to a daily illusion we experience. Hume does posit how these illusions come about. Hume claims that our “soul” is a bundle of simultaneous perceptions and that our mind is ordering and assigning causality to these perceptions; he believes that this is why we believe in the self but are not justifications for the self. In Hume’s argument against the claim for Locke’s concept of the soul he leaves an unintended gap from which the idea of Personal identity may arise by something other than the conscious.
Hume defines perception as any content of the mind of which we are conscious. He defines an impression as type of perception which involves actual experience i.e. hearing, seeing, or feeling. Thirdly he defines an idea as another form of perception of the mind which involves thinking of something instead of actually (first hand) experiencing it. From these definitions he argues that: (1) All ideas are derived from impressions and impressions only. (2) The idea o...


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...on a more abstract level. If the idea of the self is somehow able to exists in a potentially altered version of Hume’s epistemology that accounts for what is known, now, about the subconscious synthetization of ideas, It could function in the deflection of such claims as the soul and god but could hold an idea of identity that could not be conflated with the two because it still must rely on experience. If Hume’s epistemology included the subconscious and it and be argued that from the subconscious ideas can form behaviorally from our impressions, our illusion of self could stand as an idea within Hume’s vision of the mind. This would circumvent many problems that are created when there is no justification for the self. Ideas such as guilt, punishment, and whether or not your life can have meaning are not necessarily uprooted by Hume’s analysis of how the mind works.

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