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

Alan Schwerin 1
  • 1 Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ, USA
Alan Schwerin

Abstract

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.

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