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  1. Hume and the fiction of the self.Matthew Parrott - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    In the Treatise, Hume attempts to explain why we all believe that the self is a single unified entity that persists over time, a belief which Hume calls a fiction. In this paper, I demonstrate how Hume uses a type of functional explanation to account for this belief. After explicating Hume's view, I shall argue that it faces two related problems, which constitute a sort of dilemma. In the final section, I show how one of the horns of this dilemma (...)
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  • Complex Ideas and Hume’s Separability Principle.Hsueh M. Qu - 2022 - Mind 131 (522):517-534.
    In this paper, I will argue that a number of Hume’s claims generate a putative inconsistency with regard to complex ideas and independent existence. I first provide a prima facie argument for the existence of this inconsistency. Then, I examine a number of attempts to rescue Hume from this problem, and argue that each of them fails, before proposing my own solution.
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  • Fiction and Content in Hume’s Labyrinth.Bridger Ehli - 2024 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1):187-207.
    In the “Appendix” to the Treatise, Hume claims that he has discovered a “very considerable” mistake in his earlier discussion of the self. Hume's expression of the problem is notoriously opaque, leading to a vast scholarly debate as to exactly what problem he identified in his earlier account of the self. I propose a new solution to this interpretive puzzle. I argue that a tension generated by Hume's conceptual skepticism about real “principles of union” and his account of fictions of (...)
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  • Hume's Incredible Demonstrations.Graham Clay - 2022 - Hume Studies 47 (1):55-77.
    Commentators have rightly focused on the reasons why Hume maintains that the conclusions of skeptical arguments cannot be believed, as well as on the role these arguments play in Hume’s justification of his account of the mind. Nevertheless, Hume’s interpreters should take more seriously the question of whether Hume holds that these arguments are demonstrations. Only if the arguments are demonstrations do they have the requisite status to prove Hume’s point—and justify his confidence—about the nature of the mind’s belief-generating faculties. (...)
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  • Knowledge and Sensory Knowledge in Hume's Treatise.Graham Clay - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 10:195-229.
    I argue that the Hume of the Treatise maintains an account of knowledge according to which (i) every instance of knowledge must be an immediately present perception (i.e., an impression or an idea); (ii) an object of this perception must be a token of a knowable relation; (iii) this token knowable relation must have parts of the instance of knowledge as relata (i.e., the same perception that has it as an object); and any perception that satisfies (i)-(iii) is an instance (...)
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  • What makes Hume an External World Skeptic?Graham Clay - manuscript
    What would it take for Hume to be an external world skeptic? Is Hume's position on knowledge sufficient to force him to deny that we can acquire knowledge of propositions about the external world? After all, Hume is extremely restrictive about what can be known because he requires knowledge to be immune to error. In this paper, I will argue that if Hume were a skeptic, then he must also deny a particular kind of view about what is immediately present (...)
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