By David [L. A. Selby-Bigge, ed.] Hume
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Extra info for A Treatise of Human Nature -- Reprinted from the Original Edition in three volumes and edited with an Analytical index
Ideas. VERY material question has been started concerning abstract or general ideas, whether they be general or particular ! in the mind s conception of them. great philosopher has disputed the receiv d opinion in this particular, and has A asserted, that all general ideas ones, annexed nothing but particular which gives them a more are to a certain term, extensive signification, and makes them recall upon occasion other individuals, which are similar to them. As I look upon this to be one of the greatest and most valuable been made of late years in the re discoveries that has public of letters, I shall here endeavour to confirm arguments, which I hope will put it beyond all it by some doubt and controversy.
We may hence discover the error of the mind common opinion, on both sides, and that tis impossible for the imagination to form an adequate idea, of what goes beyond a certain degree of minuteness as well as of greatness. Nothing can be more minute, than some ideas, which we form in the fancy and images, which that the capacity of the is limited ; appear to the senses fectly simple and ; since there are ideas The indivisible. and images per only defect of our senses that they give us disproportion d images of things, and represent as minute and uncompounded what is really great and compos d of a vast number of parts.
But the unity, which can exist alone, and SECT. whose existence is necessary to that of all number, is of another kind, and must be perfectly indivisible, and incapable II. of being resolved into any lesser unity. All this reasoning takes place with regard to time of sibility a ; along with an additional argument, which it may be proper to take notice of. Tis a property inseparable from time, and which in a manner constitutes its essence, that each of its parts succeeds another, and that none of them, however conti For the same reason, that guous, can ever be co-existent the year 1737 cannot concur with the present year 1738, every moment must be distinct from, and posterior or ante cedent to another.