Hume's Impression of Succession (Time)

Jon Charles Millera1

a1 University of Ottawa


In this article I argue that Hume's empiricism allows for time to exist as a real distinct impression of succession, not, as many claim, merely as a nominal abstract idea. In the first part of this article I show how for Hume it is succession and not duration that constitutes time, and, further, that only duration is fictional. In the second part, I show that according to the way Hume describes the functions of the memory and imagination, it is possible to explain how we are able to perceive a distinct impression of succession.