John Locke And Hume 's Nature Of Self Identity Essay examples

John Locke And Hume 's Nature Of Self Identity Essay examples

Length: 1069 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Locke and Hume
Philosophers tend to be of those rare breed of individuals who have their unique outlook on life and on the world in general. When looking at the philosophers who lived around the end of the Renaissance period, common themes of mortality, human nature, and the divine all tend to get blurred into overarching ideologies about the world and the nature of humanity in general. While not all philosophers focus on the same idea of humanity and the human condition, John Locke and David Hume both took particular interest in the ways that humans view themselves, the world around them, and the subject of identity of self in contrast to the universe. Through analysis of John Locke’s perspectives as shown in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding and that of David Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature, it is possible to see both the way in which these philosophers have similar perspectives on the world and man’s place in the universe as well as differences of opinion on the understanding of one’s sense of self-identity.
In order to see how they directly compare to one another, it is first important to understand the perceptions of each philosopher individually. When looking at the theories of John Locke, there are a number of key components that are showcased in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding as well as in his overall philosophies about life. For Locke, the primary focus of his philosophy was on the law of the natural world and the way in which man is able to navigate these trials and tribulations through the sense of self. While his philosophy looks at the natural world and the way in which man plays a part in the grander scheme of the universe, it is interesting to note that like many other Renaissance philosophers, ...

... middle of paper ...

..., are those that “arise immediately from good or evil, from pain or pleasure” that we experience or think about in prospect” (Hume’s Moral Philosophy). Similarly, David Hume argued that while some will utilize previous experiences to determine how they interact with the world around them, this is not an absolute truth because of the fact that they do not necessarily believe strongly one way or another. Overall, the idea Hume proposes is that by focusing on a specific piece of knowledge and then using a rational approach to determine a course of action can be problematic but that it helps create the sense of identity through action. The idea that he puts forth is that we are the sum of our ability to reason and the knowledge that we have accumulated to help us determine what is the best course of action when our passions dictate that we must act according to stimuli.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Hume And Locke On Personal Identity Essay

- Hume and Locke on Personal Identity Hume believes that personal identity is not the feeling of existence of what is called the self as many philosophers believe. He proposes that every idea is the product of one impression. The self is not one impression, but is all of our impressions that combined Impressions could be pain, pleasure, grief, or joy, but they do not happen at the same time, they follow each other. Hume uses the theater analogy to explain this (Hume). The mind is the stage where perceptions make their appearance....   [tags: Mind, Psychology, Thought, Consciousness]

Better Essays
723 words (2.1 pages)

David Hume: Vices and Virtues Essay

- Hume: Vices and Virtues Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems such as those regarding existence, reality, knowledge, values, the human mind and language. “I think, therefore I am” is a famous quotation that attempts to define this study very simply, and the philosopher quoted was Rene Descartes, a 17th century Frenchman who is widely regarded as the Father of Modern Philosophy. David Hume was an 18th century Scotsman who is considered by many to be the most important philosopher ever to write in English....   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Better Essays
1060 words (3 pages)

Pragmatism, Empiricism and David Hume Essay

- Pragmatism, Empiricism and David Hume Pragmatism is based on the philosophy that ideas must be tested and re-tested, that experiences dictate reality. Pragmatists also believe in no absolute truths or values existing. David Hume argues that, “no proof can be derived from any fact, of which we are so intimately conscious; nor is there anything of which we can be certain, if we doubt this” (Treatise 2645). Hume’s empiricist ideals were roots to early pragmatic thought, by way of the theory that, in our reality, nothing is certain and everything that can be sensed must be constantly qualified to find a place in reality....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
611 words (1.7 pages)

The Triumph of Bundle Theory: A Lack of Evidence for an Enduring Self Essay

- I. Introduction When thinking about the self, one is inclined to accept the idea of a personal identity that survives throughout time. This tendency is reflected in substance theory, the belief that the self is not just a collection of properties such as experiences and perceptions, but the vehicle for possessing these properties. The bundle theory makes the opposite argument. The theory claims that the inclinations for a personal identity are natural but flawed, as the self is simply a bundle of perceptions....   [tags: Personal Identity, Substance Theory]

Better Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

Philosophy of David Hume Essay

- Philosophy in itself is an unidentifiable subject matter because of the lack of specificity in the fields it touches upon. It is “defined” as a way for humans to strive for ourselves in this reality in which we live in. No one person has the answers as to who we are and why we are living. The value of philosophy changes in character as history changes, thus the meaning of philosophy is what we as individuals perceive it to be. Though subjective, there are core ideals that unite the beliefs of all philosophy, such as the idea of the self....   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Better Essays
1628 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on John Locke's Concept of a Persistant Self

- In this essay I will first explain John Locke’s statement, “whatever has the consciousness of present and past actions is the same person to whom they both belong” (278). Then I will elaborate on the criteria outlined by Locke to describe the concept of a persistent self. Following the flushing out of Locke’s reasoning, I will delve into David Hume’s concept of the Self as a bundle of perceptions. The juxtaposition of these two propositions of the nature of self will show that John Locke’s idea of persistent self is flawed when examined against David Hume’s concept of self as a bundle of perceptions....   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Better Essays
1045 words (3 pages)

Understanding and Accepting Parfit's Nature of Persisting Persons Essay

- Parfit’s view on the nature of persisting persons raises interesting issues in terms of identity. Though there are identifiable objections to his views, I am in favor of the argument he develops. This paper will layout Parfit’s view on that nature of persisting person, show support as well as argue the objections to the theory. In Derek Parfit’s paper Personal Identity, Parfit provides a valid account of persisting persons through time through his clear account of psychological continuities. He calls people to accept the argument that people persist through time but people do not persist or survive by way of identity....   [tags: Philosophy ]

Better Essays
1765 words (5 pages)

Self Identity And Social Identity Essay

- Accordingly, this paper will provide a conceptual discussion using relevant theory that critically analyses tensions between self-identity and social identity. These theories propose that aspects of identity driving behaviour is dependent on the context. Foremost, identity theory is reflective of the correlation concerning the roles that people enact in society and then therefore, includes the identities that those roles exhibit (Hogg, et al., 1995, p. 266). Striker, followed by Tajfel and Turner, compose that social identity theory consist of two levels: personal identity and social identity (Hogg, et al., 1995, p....   [tags: Sociology, Identity, Social psychology, Identity]

Better Essays
1299 words (3.7 pages)

An Inexplicable Nature of the American Identity Essay

- ... Closely related with this experience of time and space in Emily Dickinson's poetry is the frequent use of tension-filled metaphors and abrupt pauses. In analyzing the structure of each particular movement the reader is struck by two apparently contradictory time principles. On the one hand, Whitman demonstrates a consistent style of for rhythmic and measured motion, represented by an irresistible progression in the form of regular steps that show the advance of generations across centuries. The march of progress exemplifies Whitman’s belief in the perfectibility of a universe and the careful line that must be drawn between a hopeful utopian society and the measureable reality....   [tags: ideals, identity, transformed, language]

Better Essays
1236 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on David Hume and Future Occurrences

- In An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume demonstrates how there is no way to rationally make any claims about future occurrences. According to Hume knowledge of matters of fact come from previous experience. From building on this rationale, Hume goes on to prove how, as humans we can only make inferences on what will happen in the future, based on our experiences of the past. But he points out that we are incorrect to believe that we are justified in using our experience of the past as a means of evidence of what will happen in the future....   [tags: Philosophy Hume Philosophical Essays]

Free Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)