Self is a thing?

Hume believes that the self is an illusion or a fiction. What is his argument?

Hume’s argument has to do something about perception, and that our minds cannot lose any type of perception unless we are sleeping or dead.  I am pretty sure that there is a connection to everything being said in the material, but I do not understand how, when it goes from perceptions, and how the only way there is none is by sleeping or when dead, to memory, where it does not affect a person’s identity in the end.

I always stumble on some particular or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure… When my perceptions are remov’d for any time, as by sound sleep; so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist.  And were all my perceptions remov’d by death, and cou’d I neither think, nor feel, nor see, no love, nor hate after the dissolution of my body, i shou’d be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is farther requisite to make me a perfect non-entity.” pg. 326, column 2

 Do you find it convincing?   Why or why not?

The quote above had caught my attention, and I want to say that, in my opinion, it seems to be connected to Hume’s claim that the self is just an illusion.  Unless we are awake, or alive, one person sees one thing to another person of the same scene.  I am not sure if I find this fully convincing, but it is very interesting.  Humes also said something about the mind not being able to live without the body, which clashes against “The body cannot live without the mind” by Trinity from the Matrix.  I think both go together, the body needs a mind in order to function, and the mind needs a body to just simply be there.


2 thoughts on “Hume- Of Personal Identity

  1. Hume is pretty insistent about memory being mostly perceptions, and that it’s really unreliable because of that. I think the sleep thing relates to his inability to have perceptions of self when he is sleeping, and so if he can’t form a perception of himself then he does not exist? Or at least that’s what I took from that bit. I like your choice of quote since it ties back into self being a perception, and a perception in this respect is basically an illusion.


    1. ooohhhh, that makes sense, that sleep prevents a person to have the ability to have a perception of anything, compared to being awake, if that is what you are trying to get across. and thank you for liking my found quote. it just popped out for me, so i had a feeling that i must include it in my blog.
      and also, sorry for not making sense, my brain is going hay-wired


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