Hume’s Second Thoughts on Personal Identity
History of Philosophy
Sunny Yang
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
Published 2018-10-25


Personal Identity, Hume’s second thoughts, connecting principles, Hume’s inconsistency, homunculi model

How to Cite

Yang, S. (2018) “Hume’s Second Thoughts on Personal Identity”, Problemos, 94, pp. 182-193. doi: 10.15388/Problemos.2018.0.0.12005.


[full article, abstract in English; only abstract in Lithuanian]

In this paper, I present an interpretation on how Hume can escape from his intellectual ordeal concerning personal identity in the Appendix of the Treatise. First of all, I present the source of Hume’s despair to offer an interpretation on what would have truly bothered Hume in the Appendix, and I identify several lines of interpretation. Recently Jonathan Ellis has distinguished various ways of understanding Hume’s predicament. Of the four groups of explanations that Ellis distinguishes, in this paper I elaborate on the three that Ellis does not sufficiently explicate, addressing some key issues that Ellis missed. Last, I offer an alternative reading of Hume’s difficulty, based on Dennett’s ideas on the matter, and make a suggestion about what Hume ought to have said about these problems.

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