chapter
Introduction
Pages 8

This book is about Hume’s account of the self.1 There are various good reasons for examining this account in detail. First, there is the intrinsic interest of the account itself: it is rich, complex and provocative (and much of the secondary literature it has generated, both interpretative and critical, is also of interest in its own right). Second, Hume’s account of the self is central to his philosophy, in particular to the philosophy of the Treatise. Whilst it figures prominently in his epistemology, it also bears on his writings on religion and morality, and on other topics discussed in the Essays. An understanding of this account will therefore illuminate Hume’s philosophy more generally. Third, Hume’s views on the self have significant relevance to contemporary discussions of the self and its identity; a study of these views will thus also engage with contemporary debates.