more from David Hume

Single Idea 21311

[catalogued under 16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity]

Full Idea

Is the self the same with substance? If it be, how can that question have place concerning the subsistence of self, under a change of substance? If they be distinct, what is the difference between them?

Gist of Idea

Are self and substance the same? Then how can self remain if substance changes?


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.635

A Reaction

Locke seems to think there is a characterless substance which supports momories, and the latter constitute the self. So if my substance acquires Nestor's memories, I become Nestor. Hume, the stricter empiricist, cares nothing for characterless things.

Related Ideas

Idea 12509 If the soul individuates a man, and souls are transferable, then a hog could be a man [Locke]

Idea 12512 If someone becomes conscious of Nestor's actions, then he is Nestor [Locke]