more from David Hume

Single Idea 1317

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 5. Self as Associations]

Full Idea

I affirm of the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in perpetual flux and movement.

Gist of Idea

A person is just a fast-moving bundle of 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

Note that Hume is not just saying what we can know of ourselves, but is asserting a view of what we actually are. The minimal objection to this is to ask how we know that a perception is a member of one big bundle rather than several small ones.