more from David Hume

Single Idea 1316

[catalogued under 16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection]

Full Idea

I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.

Gist of Idea

Introspection always discovers perceptions, and never a Self without perceptions


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

Book Reference

'Personal Identity', ed/tr. Perry,John [University of California 1975], p.162

A Reaction

The first half can hardly be denied, but I think the second half is just false. What you observe is not just a raw neutral sense-datum, floating in nothing, but a sense-datum that is deeply coloured by MY interests, interpretations and values.

Related Idea

Idea 18463 Successful introspection reveals the substrate along with the object of thought [Porphyry]