Perceptions, minds, and Hume's self-doubts: Comments on Ainslie's Hume's True Scepticism

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Abstract / Description of output

In Hume's True Scepticism, Donald C. Ainslie offers a highly original, systematic interpretation of Treatise Book 1, part 4, and of much else in the Treatise besides. Along the way, he provides new solutions to two of the main outstanding problems of Hume scholarship: what is the relationship between Hume's skepticism and his commitment to pursuing a naturalistic science of man? And what "very considerable mistake" about personal identity does Hume mean to report in the Appendix? These are fantastic achievements. I congratulate Ainslie on the book, and on the JHP Book Prize, which I am happy to learn he has won.

To keep things interesting, these comments will focus on three related topics where I am not yet convinced by what Ainslie has to say: 1) the nature of perceptions; 2) Hume's views about minds in the Treatise section "Of personal identity"; and 3) Hume's second thoughts about this section in the Appendix.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
JournalHume Studies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Mar 2022


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