Natural Belief in Persistent Selves

Philosophical Psychology 34 (8):1146–1166 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In “Of Personal Identity”, Hume attempts to understand why we ordinarily believe in persistent selves. He proposes that this ontological commitment depends on illusions and fictions: the imagination tricks us into supposing that an unchanging core self remains static through the flux and change of experience. Recent work in cognitive science provides a good deal of support for Hume’s hypothesis that common beliefs about the self are founded on psychological biases rather than rational insight or evidence. We naturally believe in personal persistence, according to this emerging research, because we are prone to categorize the world in terms of hidden essences and structure our lives in terms of whole life stories.

Similar books and articles

The no-self theory: Hume, Buddhism, and personal identity.James Giles - 1993 - Philosophy East and West 43 (2):175-200.
What Was Hume’s Problem with Personal Identity?Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (1):91-114.
On Hume's Theory of Personal Identity.Tse-mei Wu - 2008 - Philosophy and Culture 35 (3):151-166.
The Evident Connexion: Hume on Personal Identity by Galen Strawson. [REVIEW]Abe Roth - 2013 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):491-492.
Hume on personal identity.Wade L. Robison - 1974 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 12 (2):181-193.
Hume's Quandary Concerning Personal Identity.Wayne Waxman - 1992 - Hume Studies 18 (2):233-253.
Personal Identity.Daniel N. Robinson & Tom L. Beauchamp - 1978 - The Monist 61 (2):326-339.
The Self as Narrative in Hume.Lorenzo Greco - 2015 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (4):699-722.
Hume's Recantation Revisited.Vijay Mascarenhas - 2001 - Hume Studies 27 (2):279-300.


Added to PP

531 (#34,928)

6 months
128 (#30,025)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Mark Collier
University of Minnesota, Morris

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations