Ideas from 'Treatise of Human Nature' by David Hume [1739], by Theme Structure

[found in 'A Treatise of Human Nature' by Hume,David (ed/tr Mossner,Ernest C.) [Penguin 1969,0-14-040007-9]].

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2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 7. Status of Reason
Reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions
6. Mathematics / B. Foundations for Mathematics / 5. Definitions of Number / d. Hume's Principle
Two numbers are equal if all of their units correspond to one another
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
There is no medium state between existence and non-existence
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
Power is the possibility of action, as discovered by experience
There may well be powers in things, with which we are quite unacquainted
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 7. Against Powers
We have no idea of powers, because we have no impressions of them
The distinction between a power and its exercise is entirely frivolous
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 2. Resemblance Nominalism
Momentary impressions are wrongly identified with one another on the basis of resemblance [Quine]
If we see a resemblance among objects, we apply the same name to them, despite their differences
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 5. Individuation / a. Individuation
Individuation is only seeing that a thing is stable and continuous over time
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / e. Substance critique
The only meaning we have for substance is a collection of qualities
Aristotelians propose accidents supported by substance, but they don't understand either of them
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 1. Objects over Time
Changing a part can change the whole, not absolutely, but by its proportion of the whole
A change more obviously destroys an identity if is quick and observed
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
If identity survives change or interruption, then resemblance, contiguity or causation must unite the parts of it
If a republic can retain identity through many changes, so can an individual
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 7. Intermittent Objects
If a ruined church is rebuilt, its relation to its parish makes it the same church
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 8. Continuity of Rivers
We accept the identity of a river through change, because it is the river's nature
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 9. Ship of Theseus
The purpose of the ship makes it the same one through all variations
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Both number and unity are incompatible with the relation of identity
Multiple objects cannot convey identity, because we see them as different
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 5. Self-Identity
'An object is the same with itself' is meaningless; it expresses unity, not identity
Saying an object is the same with itself is only meaningful over a period of time
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 10. Impossibility
Nothing we clearly imagine is absolutely impossible
10. Modality / A. Necessity / 11. Denial of Necessity
Necessity only exists in the mind, and not in objects
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 1. Perceptual Realism / c. Representative realism
Hume says objects are not a construction, but an imaginative leap [Robinson,H]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
Associationism results from having to explain intentionality just with sense-data [Robinson,H]
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 5. Empiricism Critique
Even Hume didn't include mathematics in his empiricism [Kant]
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 8. Social Justification
Mathematicians only accept their own proofs when everyone confims them
13. Knowledge Criteria / D. Scepticism / 2. Types of Scepticism
Hume became a total sceptic, because he believed that reason was a deception [Kant]
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
The idea of inductive evidence, around 1660, made Hume's problem possible [Hacking]
15. Nature of Minds / C. Capacities of Minds / 2. Imagination
Memory, senses and understanding are all founded on the imagination
16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 5. Self as Associations
Hume's 'bundle' won't distinguish one mind with ten experiences from ten minds [Searle]
A person is just a fast-moving bundle of perceptions
The parts of a person are always linked together by causation
Hume gives us an interesting sketchy causal theory of personal identity [Perry]
A person is simply a bundle of continually fluctuating perceptions
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Limits of Introspection
Introspection always discovers perceptions, and never a Self without perceptions
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / a. Memory is Self
Memory only reveals personal identity, by showing cause and effect
Memory not only reveals identity, but creates it, by producing resemblances
Who thinks that because you have forgotten an incident you are no longer that person?
We use memory to infer personal actions we have since forgotten
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity
Causation unites our perceptions, by producing, destroying and modifying each other
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 4. Denial of the Self
A continuous lifelong self must be justified by a single sustained impression, which we don't have
When I introspect I can only observe my perceptions, and never a self which has them
We pretend our perceptions are continuous, and imagine a self to fill the gaps
Identity in the mind is a fiction, like that fiction that plants and animals stay the same
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 2. Duration of an Action
If one event causes another, the two events must be wholly distinct [Wilson/Schpall]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason
For Hume, practical reason has little force, because we can always modify our desires [Graham]
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
Reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the will
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 4. Responsibility for Actions
You can only hold people responsible for actions which arise out of their character
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / b. Fact and value
Modern science has destroyed the Platonic synthesis of scientific explanation and morality [Taylor,C]
The problem of getting to 'ought' from 'is' would also apply in getting to 'owes' or 'needs' [Anscombe]
You can't move from 'is' to 'ought' without giving some explanation or reason for the deduction
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 2. Values / h. Self interest
Total selfishness is not irrational
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / h. Expressivism
We cannot discover vice by studying a wilful murder; that only arises from our own feelings
26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 7. Later Matter Theories / a. Early Modern matter
We have no good concept of solidity or matter, because accounts of them are all circular
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 8. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
For Hume a constant conjunction is both necessary and sufficient for causation [Crane]
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
Hume seems to presuppose necessary connections between mental events [Kripke]
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / a. Immortality
If all of my perceptions were removed by death, nothing more is needed for total annihilation