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 / 4. Definitions of Number / d. Hume's Principle
Two numbers are equal if all of their units correspond to one another
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
If we see a resemblance among objects, we apply the same name to them, despite their differences
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 4. Individuation / c. Individuation by location
Things are individuated simply by not changing over time
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 6. Nihilism about Objects
Experience gives us relations between experiences (e.g. of a plant), but the 'identity' is added by the mind
We imagine that time is passing when we view something unchanging, and this gives rise to the idea that it has identity
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
If we consider an object at two different times, we attribute identity if we perceive unity between them
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
Identity change in objects is relative to observers, as it depends on proportion and speed of change
If a tiny part is added to an object we think identity is retained, but only because the transition is smooth
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 8. Continuity of Rivers
If rivers retain identity when the water slowly changes, this must be because of human expectations
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 13. No Identity over Time
If interrupted noises and rebuilt churches are the same, identity must be in the mind of the observer
If a single object cannot reveal identity then nor can several, because they are seen at different times
We pretend identity stays the same if purpose and causal interconnection remain the same
9. Objects / F. Identity among Objects / 1. Concept of Identity
Both number and unity are incompatible with the relation of identity
Viewing an object at an instant, we can have no conception of its identity, but only of its unity
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
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism
Associationism results from having to explain intentionality just with sense-data
13. Knowledge Criteria / C. External Justification / 8. Social Justification
Mathematicians only accept their own proofs when everyone confims them
14. Science / C. Induction / 1. Induction
The idea of inductive evidence, around 1660, made Hume's problem possible
15. Nature of Minds / A. Nature of Mind / 5. Unity of Mind
The unity of consciousness is an illusion
16. Persons / B. Concept of the Self / 6. Denial of the Self
We invent a 'self' to make a continuous reality out of separate perceptions
We imagine a self, but perceptions seem separate, and no principle connects them
16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 3. Undetectable Self
We can't have an impression of the Self, because it is the receiver of impressions
Introspection always discovers perceptions, and never a Self without perceptions
A person is just a fast-moving bundle of perceptions
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 1. Self and Memory
We use memory to infer personal actions we have since forgotten
Memory only reveals personal identity, by showing cause and effect
16. Persons / E. Self as Mind / 4. Associated Self
Associations are too loose and fading to fix identity, so it is just a linguistic problem
The parts of a person are always linked together by causation
Personal identity is built up through resemblance and causation
Hume gives us an interesting sketchy causal theory of personal identity
Resemblance forms continuous mental links, so it must be the basis of our identity
20. Action / A. Definition of Action / 2. Duration of an Action
If one event cause another, the two events must be wholly distinct
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / a. Practical reason
For Hume, practical reason has little force, because we can always modify our desires
20. Action / B. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / b. Intellectualism
Reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the will
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 9. Selfishness
Total selfishness is not irrational
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 4. Is/Ought
You can't move from 'is' to 'ought' without giving some explanation or reason for the deduction
Modern science has destroyed the Platonic synthesis of scientific explanation and morality
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 2. Particular Causation / c. Conditions of causation
For Hume a constant conjunction is both necessary and sufficient for causation
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 3. General Causation / d. Causal necessity
Hume seems to presuppose necessary connections between mental events
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / i. Modern matter
We have no good concept of solidity or matter, because accounts of them are all circular