Hume's Theory Of Self Analysis

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After Hume’s philosophical investigation about the metaphysical question regarding the problem of the external world, Hume turned to this closely related issue, the problem of self or personal identity. Here, In this sentence, Hume indicate the idea of personal identity is merely an imaginary one. Again, we have to keep in mind that Hume’s philosophical investigation method is through observation and experiences, which depends on his first principle of thought, all we know arise from experience. Naturally, for the problem of personal identity, he first consulted his perception. “When I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred,…show more content…
Therefore many people accuse Hume being inconsistent with his analysis of self. This following passage shows Hume uses the notion self which was rejected by him previously. “The immediate object of pride and humility is self or that identical person of whose thoughts, actions, and sensations, we are intimately conscious.” (2.1.5.3) Based on my understanding of the book, I believe Hume is not inconsistent since the focus on book one and two are significantly different. In the book one, skepticism of self is focused on the role that memory played in forming our idea of self. In book II, although the notion of self is not philosophically justified, Hume must presuppose the common view of self or even external objects to be able to analyze the role of passion in our…show more content…
While other times he enjoys life and “necessarily determined to live”(1.4.6.10), even though he can still feel his former disposition (skepticism of self, the external world, etc), but he is ready to throw all his book into the fire. From such different reaction to his philosophy, Hume concludes the natural inclination/expectation must drive our motivation. This discovery of the internal motivation behind our thinking has shown Hume what manner we ought to adopt in life to ensure us achieve our wishes and free from external interference, namely our skepticism. In his words, “where reason is lively, and mixes itself with some propensity, it ought to be assented to. Where it does not, it never can have any title to operate upon us.” (1.4.7.11) Hume’s emphasis on the importance of skepticism in his philosophical inquiry shows we can achieve true liberation when we have our ability to think and judge, and other’s testimony or falsely popular opinion won’t have the power to influence
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