more from David Hume

Single Idea 21299

[catalogued under 9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time]

Full Idea

Though the change of any considerable part of a mass of matter destroys the identity of the whole, yet we must measure the greatness of the part, not absolutely, but by its proportion to the whole.

Gist of Idea

Changing a part can change the whole, not absolutely, but by its proportion of the whole


David Hume (Treatise of Human Nature [1739], I.IV.6)

Book Reference

Hume,David: 'A Treatise of Human Nature', ed/tr. Selby-Bigge/Nidditch [OUP 1978], p.256

A Reaction

This seems to nicely demonstrate that the wholeness is in the mind of the perceiver, and does not simply depend on objective facts. Compare the proportion needed to change my pile of mud and my pile of gold.