Causation, Extrinsic Relations, and Hume's Second Thoughts about Personal Identity

Hume Studies 18 (2):219-231 (1992)
Louis Loeb
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
According to "Treatise" I.iv.6, the identity of a mind over time consists in a sequence of perceptions related by causation. In both of Hume's two definitions of cause, causation is an external or extrinsic relation. Hume finds this result tolerable. If causation is an extrinsic relation, and personal identity is analyzed in terms of causation, then personal identity is an extrinsic relation as well. I suggest that, in the Appendix, Hume finds this consequence intolerable, and that his finding it so is the source of his famous misgivings in regard to his section on personal identity
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0319-7336
DOI 10.1353/hms.2011.0413
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