On Hume’s Defense of Berkeley

DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2015.56041   PDF   HTML   XML   8,846 Downloads   9,431 Views  

Abstract

In 1739 Hume bequeathed a bold view of the self to the philosophical community that would prove highly influential, but equally controversial. His bundle theory of the self elicited substantial opposition soon after its appearance in the Treatise of Human Nature. Yet Hume makes it clear to his readers that his views on the self rest on respectable foundations: namely, the views of the highly regarded Irish philosopher, George Berkeley. As the author of the Treatise sees it, his account of the self draws on Berkeley’s conception of language, especially his views on singular terms. But Hume, as impressed as he is with Berkeley’s account of language, deems it necessary to defend this view against possible criticism. In the process Hume modifies Berkeley’s views. My paper is a critical investigation of Hume’s defense of Berkeley on language and an attempt to highlight the extent to which Hume departs from the views of his Irish colleague.

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Schwerin, A. (2015) On Hume’s Defense of Berkeley. Open Journal of Philosophy, 5, 327-337. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2015.56041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

[1] Berkeley, G. (1975). Philosophical Works, Including the Works on Vision (M. R. Ayers, Ed.). Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield.
[2] Bricke, J. (1980). Hume’s Philosophy of Mind. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[3] Fieser, J. (Ed.) (2000). Early Responses to Hume’s Metaphysical and Epistemological Writings (Volumes Three and Four). Bristol: Thoemmes Press.
[4] Hume, D. (1975). Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals (L. A. Selby- Bigge, & P. H. Nidditch, Eds.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[5] Hume, D. (1978). A Treatise of Human Nature (L. A. Selby-Bigge, & P. H. Nidditch, Eds.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[6] Laird, J. (1967). Hume’s Philosophy of Human Nature. London: Archon Books.
[7] Locke, J. (1850). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Philadelphia: Troutman and Hayes.

  
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