Hume and Bayle on Localization and Perception: A New Source for Hume’s Treatise 1.4.5

  • Gianni Paganini
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 210)


Next to the five major areas listed by Norman Kemp Smith in which Bayle had exercised greater influence on Hume’s work, we shall add here a new Baylean source. It is not only the second part of section V (“Of the immateriality of the soul”) of Treatise I, IV that depends on Bayle (for the article Spinoza), but also the first part. The topic at issue is the difficulty of finding a “relation” between “perceptions, which are simple, and exist no where”, on the one hand, and on the other hand some “conjunction in place with matter or body, which is extended and divisible”. A primary source (not listed in Norton & Norton commentary) for this topic is an extensive chapter in Bayle’s Réponse aux questions d’un provincial (III, xv), where the problem of a possible (and impossible) ‘local conjunction’ of the spirit and the body is dealt with in considerable depth.


Local Union Local Conjunction Human Soul Cartesian Dualism Constant Conjunction 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Studi UmanisticiUniversità del Piemonte OrientaleVercelliItaly

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