Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):557-578 (2001)
The article presents a new interpretation of Hume’s treatment of personal identity, and his later rejection of it in the “Appendix” to the Treatise. Hume’s project, on this interpretation, is to explain beliefs about persons that arise primarily within philosophical projects, not in everyday life. The belief in the identity and simplicity of the mind as a bundle of perceptions is an abstruse belief, not one held by the “vulgar” who rarely turn their minds on themselves so as to think of their perceptions. The author suggests that it is this philosophical observation of the mind that creates the problems that Hume finally acknowledges in the “Appendix.” He is unable to explain why we believe that the perceptions by means of which we observe our minds while philosophizing are themselves part of our minds. This suggestion is then tested against seven criteria that any interpretation of the “Appendix” must meet
|Keywords||Analytic Philosophy Contemporary Philosophy Philosophy of Mind|
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