Analysis of the Mind and the Self

A persistent problem through- out psychology’s history has been to account for the unity of experience. Although we are confronted with a myriad of changing situations, our experi- ence maintains a continuity over time and across conditions. The entities that most often have been postulated to explain the unity of experience are a mind or a self.

All beliefs, according to Hume, result from recurring experiences and are explained by the laws of association. All metaphysical entities, such as God, soul, and matter, are products of the imagination as are the so-called laws of nature. Hume extended his skepticism to include the concept of mind that was so important to many philosophers, including Descartes, Locke, and Berkeley. According to Hume, the “mind” is no more than the perceptions we are having at any given moment: “We may observe, that what we call a mind, is nothing but a heap or collection of different perceptions, united together by certain relations, and suppos’d, tho’ falsely, to be endow’d with a perfect simplicity and identity” (Mossner, 1969).

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