Professor Maureen Linker
Introduction to Philosophy-100-001
There are some philosophers who imagine we are every moment well conscious of what we call our “self”. A person is identified by having a soul. Having a soul means you have the ability to reflect and reason. Whereas, Hume believes the idea of a soul is fake. Everything is merely a perception. ““I” am merely a bundle of perceptions”. (376) All the moments we encounter simply become a memory.
The “self” is a chain of experiences, a combination of feelings, beliefs, thoughts, etc. Hume does not think it is the body, mind, or combination of both like most people do. The only time we can be directly aware of ourselves is when we encounter something at that very moment. We are not the same person we were when we were five years old. Years later we look back on those moments we encountered and they are simply just memories. Hume uses the ship analogy to show that the idea of identity is a function of the brain. No matter how many times a ship is repaired it is still the same ship. It does not change identities. There are no constant impressions of the “self” and that reflection does not discover anything, but certain perceptions.
The problem with personal identity is if we do not have a permanent self then how do we explain personal identity. Hume...