more from David Hume

Single Idea 21308

[catalogued under 16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self]

Full Idea

Every idea is derived from preceding impressions; and we have no impression of self or substance, as something simple and individual. We have, therefore, no idea of them in that sense.

Gist of Idea

We have no impression of the self, and we therefore have no idea of it


David Hume (Treatise of Human Nature, + Appendix [1740], Appendix)

Book Reference

Hume,David: 'A Treatise of Human Nature', ed/tr. Selby-Bigge/Nidditch [OUP 1978], p.633

A Reaction

This spells out with beautiful simplicity how his empiricist assumptions lead him to this sceptical view. No logical positivist could reject this thought. Personally I favour empiricism with added inference to the best explanation.