Hume's Impression of Succession

Dialogue 47 (3-4):603-617 (2008)
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: In this article I argue that Hume's empiricism allows for time to exist as a real distinct impression of succession, not, as many claim, merely as a nominal abstract idea. In the first part of this article I show how for Hume it is succession and not duration that constitutes time, and, further, that only duration is fictional. In the second part, I show that according to the way Hume describes the functions of the memory and imagination, it is possible to explain how we are able to perceive a distinct impression of succession.RÉSUMÉ: Dans cet article, je soutiens, à l'encontre de plusieurs, que l'empirisme de Hume conçoit le temps comme une impression réelle et distincte de succession, voire, une idée nominale et abstraite. Je montre en premier lieu que Hume définit le temps, non en termes de durée, mais de succession, et que cette notion de durée est fictive. À partir de la description de Hume des fonctions de la mémoire et de l'imagination, je montre en second lieu qu'il est possible d'expliquer comment nous sommes capables d'une impression distincte de succession.

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