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David Hume´S Philosophy Essay

1114 words - 4 pages

Hume’s Epistemology
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher known for his ideas of skepticism and empiricism. Hume strived to better develop John Locke’s idea of empiricism by using a scientific study of our own human nature. We cannot lean on common sense to exemplify human conduct without offering any clarification to the subject. In other words, Hume says that since human beings do, as a matter of fact, live and function in this world, observation of how humans do so is imminent. The primary goal of philosophy is simply to explain and justify the reasoning of why we believe what we do.
Hume is the creator of two different perceptions that reside in the human mind, ideas and impressions. Impressions are more simply put as the root of all ideas, according to Hume. “… all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will.”(Cahn) We create our own ideas off of impressions that Hume says are, “…less forcible and lively…” (Cahn) Ideas must come after an impression because “what never was seen or heard of may yet be conceived.” (Cahn) So, Hume’s claim is that not all of our ideas are like impressions, but, that every idea depends on an impression. We can have an idea if and only if we first had the impression that the idea is perceived from. Not all ideas and impressions come to our minds directly from the senses, but are composed of much smaller particles in the mind that are like copies of what has come through sensory experience.
Hume divides all of the components of human reason into two different categories, relations of ideas and matters of fact. The division of these two categories is defined as “Hume’s Fork,” using the analogy “fork in the road.”
“All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two
kinds, to wit, Relations of Ideas, and Matters of fact. Of the first kind are the
sciences of Geometry, Algebra, and Arithmetic ... [which are] discoverable by the mere
operation of thought ... Matters of fact, which are the second object of human
reason, are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth,
however great, of a like nature with the foregoing.” (Hume)
“If we would satisfy ourselves, therefore, concerning the nature of that evidence, which assures us of matters of fact, we must enquire how we arrive at the knowledge of cause and effect." (Hume) Hume says that a judgment of causality is fully built by the mind and that these claims are results of behaviors
We humans have a consistent habit of thinking causally. Thinking causally is a great thing, since without causal thinking we would not function well in everyday life. Causality is often referred to by Hume as the “cement of the universe.” Our judgment of causality are influenced by three different factors such as constant conjunction and contiguity. Constant conjunction causality is explained In a way in which...

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