Authors
Abstract
This paper examines the function of Hume’s use of a peculiar example from A Treatise of Human Nature. The example in question is that of a burning piece of coal that is whirled around at a sufficient speed to present to a viewer an image of a circle of fire. The example is a common one; and Hume himself points to Locke as his source in this case. Hume’s reference appears accurate since both Locke and Hume seem to marshal the example in order to bolster a case for an upper and lower temporal threshold for perception. But several philosophical problems inherent in Hume’s appeal to the example make the case for Locke as Hume’s sole or even primary source difficult to sustain. The paper sketches a history of uses of the example from the seventeenth century through the twentieth century. An argument is presented that Pierre Bayle’s use of the example is most in accord with Hume’s, and that for this and other reasons, Bayle is his likeliest source. Further, making sense in this way of Hume’s use of the burning coal example illuminates Hume’s interesting contributions to the notions of time, identity, and individuation
Keywords Hume  time
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 1053-8364
DOI 10.5840/jpr_2002_14
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,018
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hume on Morality.James Baillie - 2000 - Routledge.
Was Hume a Subjectivist?Fred Wilson - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:247-282.
David Hume and Eighteenth-Century America.Mark G. Spencer - 2005 - University of Rochester Press.
Hume on Curiosity.Axel Gelfert - 2013 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (4):711-732.
Was Hume a Humean?Elijah Millgram - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (1):75-94.
Hume and The Self: A Critical Response.Alan Schwerin - 2007 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 5 (1):15-30.
Hume on Testimony Revisited.Axel Gelfert - 2010 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 13:60-75.
Hume’s Concealed Attack on Religion and His Early Critics.James Fieser - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:431-449.
Hume and Miracles.Matthew C. Bagger - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (2):237 - 251.
Hume’s Progressive View of Human Nature.Michael Gill - 2000 - Hume Studies 26 (1):87-108.
In Defence of Hume's Historical Method.Alix Cohen - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):489 – 502.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-12-02

Total views
52 ( #216,041 of 2,498,526 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #282,166 of 2,498,526 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes