Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Anatomy and Physiology of Mind. David Hume’s Vitalistic Account

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

This chapter challenges the widely held view which associates Hume's philosophy with mechanical philosophies of nature and particularly with Newton. This view presents Hume's account of the human mind as passive receiver of impressions that bring into motion, from the outside, a mental machinery whose functioning is described in terms of mechanical causal principles. Instead, author proposes an interpretation which suggests that, for Hume, the human mind is composed of non-modular faculties that can be characterised by their active contribution, which frequently results in qualitative change. This anatomy of the mind is explored from a physiological perspective focused on the study of the normal functioning and interaction ascribed to the mind's various organs. While pursuing this enterprise, Hume's outlook is closer to Scottish 'philosophical chemistry' and vitalistic physiology than to the mechanical heritage of the seventeenth century.

Keywords:Anatomy; David Hume; mechanical heritage; mind; philosophy; Physiology; Vitalistic Account



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Blood, Sweat and Tears — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation