Share This Article:

On Hume’s Defense of Berkeley

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:282KB) PP. 327-337
DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2015.56041    8,350 Downloads   8,902 Views  
Author(s)    Leave a comment


In 1739 Hume bequeathed a bold view of the self to the philosophical community that would prove highly influential, but equally controversial. His bundle theory of the self elicited substantial opposition soon after its appearance in the Treatise of Human Nature. Yet Hume makes it clear to his readers that his views on the self rest on respectable foundations: namely, the views of the highly regarded Irish philosopher, George Berkeley. As the author of the Treatise sees it, his account of the self draws on Berkeley’s conception of language, especially his views on singular terms. But Hume, as impressed as he is with Berkeley’s account of language, deems it necessary to defend this view against possible criticism. In the process Hume modifies Berkeley’s views. My paper is a critical investigation of Hume’s defense of Berkeley on language and an attempt to highlight the extent to which Hume departs from the views of his Irish colleague.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Schwerin, A. (2015) On Hume’s Defense of Berkeley. Open Journal of Philosophy, 5, 327-337. doi: 10.4236/ojpp.2015.56041.


[1] Berkeley, G. (1975). Philosophical Works, Including the Works on Vision (M. R. Ayers, Ed.). Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield.
[2] Bricke, J. (1980). Hume’s Philosophy of Mind. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
[3] Fieser, J. (Ed.) (2000). Early Responses to Hume’s Metaphysical and Epistemological Writings (Volumes Three and Four). Bristol: Thoemmes Press.
[4] Hume, D. (1975). Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals (L. A. Selby- Bigge, & P. H. Nidditch, Eds.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[5] Hume, D. (1978). A Treatise of Human Nature (L. A. Selby-Bigge, & P. H. Nidditch, Eds.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[6] Laird, J. (1967). Hume’s Philosophy of Human Nature. London: Archon Books.
[7] Locke, J. (1850). An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Philadelphia: Troutman and Hayes.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2018 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.