more from David Hume

Single Idea 4766

[catalogued under 10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity]

Full Idea

Necessity …is nothing but an internal impression of the mind, or a determination to carry our thoughts from one object to another.

Gist of Idea

Necessity only exists in the mind, and not in objects


David Hume (Treatise of Human Nature [1739], 1.03.16)

Book Reference

Hume,David: 'A Treatise of Human Nature', ed/tr. Selby-Bigge/Nidditch [OUP 1978], p.165

A Reaction

The classic statement of the empiricist position. Personally I don't believe it. Non-mental necessities are likely to be natural, or to be features of 'Platonic' objects. A big issue…