Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 14, 2015

Language and Hume’s Search for a Theory of the Self

  • Alan Schwerin EMAIL logo
From the journal Metaphysica


In his Treatise Hume makes a profound suggestion: philosophical problems, especially problems in metaphysics, are verbal. This view is most vigorously articulated and defended in the course of his investigation of the problem of the self, in the section “Of personal identity.” My paper is a critical exploration of Hume’s arguments for this influential thesis and an analysis of the context that informs this 1739 version of the nature of philosophical problems that anticipates the linguistic turn in philosophy.


Dennett, D. 1991. Consciousness Explained. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.Search in Google Scholar

Hume, D. 1978. Treatise of Human Nature (Ed. LASelby-Bigge and PHNidditch). Oxford: Clarendon Press.Search in Google Scholar

Kuhn, T. S. 1957. The Copernican Revolution. New York: MJF Books, with Harvard University.Search in Google Scholar

Kuhn, T. S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Second Edition). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Search in Google Scholar

Nagel, T. 1986. The View from Nowhere. New York: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Parfit, D. 1984. Reasons and Persons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Randall, J. 1947.”David Hume: Radical Empiricist and Pragmatist.” In David Hume: A Symposium, edited by D.Pears. London: Macmillan. (4763).Search in Google Scholar

Strawson, P. 1979. Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics. London: Methuen.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2015-5-14
Published in Print: 2015-9-18

©2015 by De Gruyter

Downloaded on 26.2.2024 from
Scroll to top button