Hume on Time and Steadfast Unchanging Objects

History of Philosophy Quarterly 40 (1):3-24 (2023)
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Abstract

In this paper we consider a puzzle concerning Hume's account of time and what he calls “steadfast unchanging objects”—that is, unchanging objects coexisting with temporal successions. On the one hand, Hume maintains that steadfast unchanging objects are temporally indivisible. On the other, he allows that such unchanging objects are capable of undergoing a determinate number of alterations in a given length of time, which seems to imply that they are at least potentially temporally divisible. After arguing that Donald Baxter's influential interpretation of Hume's theory of time cannot resolve this tension, we propose that Hume offers a skeptical resolution of the difficulty.

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Author Profiles

Jani Hakkarainen
Tampere University
Todd Ryan
Trinity College

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References found in this work

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
Time as an Empirical Concept in Special Relativity.Matias Slavov - 2019 - Review of Metaphysics 73 (2):335-353.
Filling the Gaps in Hume’s Vacuums.Miren Boehm - 2012 - Hume Studies 38 (1):79-99.
Aristotle, number and time.Julia Annas - 1975 - Philosophical Quarterly 25 (99):97-113.

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