A Puzzle about Fictions in the Treatise

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in the treatise, hume claims to identify many “fictions of the imagination” among both “vulgar” and philosophical beliefs. To name just a few, these include the fiction of one aggregate composed of many parts,1 the fiction of a material object’s identity through change, and the fiction of a human mind’s identity through change and interruption in its existence. Hume claims that these fictions and others like them are somehow defective: in his words, they are “improper,” “inexact,” or not “strict”. I will argue that this claim conflicts with other commitments..
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