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Hume’s Source of “Impression-Idea” Distinction

humeIn this paper I aim to investigate Hume’s well-known distinction between impressions and ideas, following the methodology of the history of ideas, and showing its specificity and suggesting a possible source, which has not been given much attention by the scholarship, namely the logical doctrines of the physician and anatomist William Harvey, which provide the key concepts to understand Hume’s logic of ideas. After some introductory remarks, the second part deals with the many issues involved in Hume’s distinction, and in the third part I examine Harvey’s logic of ideas. In conclusion I assess Hume’s debt to the English physician.

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