Hegel and Hume on perception and concept-empiricism

This article shows that Hegel’s analysis of ‘Perception’ (PhdG, ch. 2) is a critique of Hume’s analysis, ‘Of Scepticism with regard to the senses’ (Treatise, I.iv §2). To extend his concept-empiricism to handle the non-logical concept of the identity of a perceptible thing, Hume must appeal to several psychological ‘propensities’ to generate, in effect, a priori concepts; he must confront a ‘contradiction’ in the concept of the identity of a perceptible thing; and he must regard this concept as a ‘fiction’. Hegel reexamines Hume’s account to show that the concept of the identity of a perceptible thing is non-logical and cannot be defined in accord with concept-empiricism. This important point supports Hegel’s concept-pragmatism. This point is also important in connection with the quite general problem of how we bring various sensations together into the perception of any one object. (English translation by the author of „Vom Skeptizismus in Bezug auf die Sinne oder das Ding und die Täuschung“.)
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2008.0964
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