The Problem with Perception

The Problem with Perception - P a g e | 1 The Problem with...

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Unformatted text preview: P a g e | 1 The Problem with Perception: A Rebuttal of Humes Remarks against the existence of Identity using mathematics 10476849 P a g e | 2 In the discipline of philosophy, few things are universally held as empirically true. To be true, it could be said for every philosophical proof, there are ten arguments as to why said proof couldnt possibly be true. One of the most important metaphysical problems is the problem of personal identity, namely whether or not human beings are persistent beings that have a personal identity. In his essay On Identity and Personal Identity , David Hume denies that the concept of personal identity can be attributed to humans. Our chief Business, then, must be to prove, that all objects, to which we ascribe identity, without observing their invariableness and uninteruptedness, are such as consist of a succession of related objects( H&O Hume: 143) .. The Identity, which we Ascribe to the mind of man, is only a fictitious one, and of a like kind with that which we ascribe to vegetables and animal bodies. It cannot, therefore, have a different origin, but must proceed from a like operation of the imagination upon like objects. (H&O Hume: 145) Hume seems to disregard the existence of any non-physical object that would not be subject to the seemingly obvious changes of all physical objects. This seems to be a flaw of the most unfortunate kind, because when one invokes the idea of non- physical entities, it seems rather plausible that such an object would be able to exemplify all of the attributes that are required for personal identity. (I use these terms in their most commonly used sense. though it would not be fruitless to talk of attributes and exemplification, such work is very tedious and, in my opinion, not entirely practical in this short paper) P a g e | 3 It seems to me that this opens Hume up to a huge problem. If one could prove the existence of non-physical entities, one could prove that humans could have personal identity. What then Does Hume do with the existence of Numbers? Does he reject them outright, or can he somehow work around them? According to Bertrand Russell, "Mathematics is...the chief source of the belief in eternal and exact truth, as well as in a super-sensible intelligible world" (Russell: 37) By invoking the use of Numbers and basic mathematical principles I intend to...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2009 for the course PHL 420 taught by Professor Hestevold during the Spring '09 term at Alabama.

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The Problem with Perception - P a g e | 1 The Problem with...

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