This chapter focuses on the account of “personal identity” by David Hume. In rejecting the metaphysical thesis of the mind as a simple thinking substance and giving an alternative theory of the mind as a description of what a person observes when inspecting her idea of self, Hume characterizes the personal identity with the analogy of the “self” as a political system that he calls “true idea of the human mind”. Hume’s comparison of personal identity with the identity of a republic implies that the personal identity persists even if, gradually over time, each memory of the experience is supplanted with others. For so long as the effects of these forgotten perceptions persist, the identity made possible by the causal system of perceptions will be preserved – just as a republic continues through even the most radical innovations in its laws and constitutions (history, however, forgotten, still has its ineffaceable effects). From all of the arguments that Hume uses mainly in the "Treatise of Human Nature" arises that personal identity is for him a “We” rather than an “Ego”.

Personal Identity as Political System in David Hume

Spartaco Pupo
2020

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the account of “personal identity” by David Hume. In rejecting the metaphysical thesis of the mind as a simple thinking substance and giving an alternative theory of the mind as a description of what a person observes when inspecting her idea of self, Hume characterizes the personal identity with the analogy of the “self” as a political system that he calls “true idea of the human mind”. Hume’s comparison of personal identity with the identity of a republic implies that the personal identity persists even if, gradually over time, each memory of the experience is supplanted with others. For so long as the effects of these forgotten perceptions persist, the identity made possible by the causal system of perceptions will be preserved – just as a republic continues through even the most radical innovations in its laws and constitutions (history, however, forgotten, still has its ineffaceable effects). From all of the arguments that Hume uses mainly in the "Treatise of Human Nature" arises that personal identity is for him a “We” rather than an “Ego”.
978-1-62273-888-5
David Hume; Personal identity; Self; Republic, Political "We".
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/304580
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