David Hume And Rene Descartes

1816 WordsOct 20, 20148 Pages
We often question who we are and what makes us who we are. What makes us the same person from one moment to another? Identity is what makes something what it is, and makes it distinct from others. We cannot simply say we are who we are, but we must look deeper into the concepts of our mind and body, our perceptions, and memory. Well-known philosophers, David Hume and Rene Descartes are some of the individuals who searched for an answer and definition of personal identity. Both considered the perceptions of their mind and came up with two different conclusions. One stating that personal identity in unintelligible, and the other confirming that what makes one certain of their existence is their ability to think and perceive. David Hume begins his discussion of personal identity by denying that we have any idea of what the self is. At any given moment we are caught with a perception in mind. Every impression leads to an idea, but the self is so complex that it cannot be derived from a single impression. Rather, the self is, “that to which our several impressions and ideas are suppos’d to have a reference.” (Hume, 251). For an impression to lead to the idea of self, it must remain constant at all times since the self is to always exist (251). Feelings and sensations can surpass each other, and are not constantly present at the same time. Because of this, it is impossible for the idea of self to be concluded from one impression. Hume believes that all ideas are separate and

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