chapter  IV
21 Pages

Hume’s Philosophy

All relations qualify or modify or make a difference to the terms between which they hold'; 'No terms are independent of any of the relations in which they stand to other terms'. There is one perfectly natural and intelligible sense in which a given relation may be said to modify a term which stands in that relation, namely, the sense in which we should say that, if, by putting a stick of sealing-wax into a flame, we make the sealing-wax melt, its relationship to the flame has modified the sealing-wax. To maintain external relations one have to maintain such things as that, though Edward VII was in fact father of George V, he might have existed without being father of George V. But to maintain this, one have to maintain that it is not true that a person who was not father of George would necessarily have been other than Edward.