Hume Conflict between Causal Reasoning and Existence of External Objects
In this essay I will be discussing a very important conflict that Hume reflects in the conclusion of Book I, A Treatise of Human Nature. The thesis of this essay is to analyze the "conflict" between causal reasoning and the continued existence of external objects. Now, to be more specific I should say that I am inclining on Hume's side about the conflict being real for same thing cannot exist at one time and again at a later time, and also in between or at the same time. To summarize the conflict presented, it basically involves cause and effect, yielding the primary/secondary quality distinction and continued existence of matter depending on secondary qualities. Further, there is an argument for the claim that causal reasoning is of fundamental importance for our knowledge of matters of fact, although the conflict is still a problem. I will argue firmly that the conflict is real by providing several statements that show not in its favor, but against it, and contrary them. These statements will form the basis of discussion of this essay, and at the same time, focusing on the relevancy, that being the thesis.
In my opinion, many infirmities are shared by all humans. A quick summary of the situation is that we can only assent due to the feeling of "a strong propensity to consider objects strongly in that view, under which they appear to me."(1.4.7, 3) It seems as though experience and habit are principles that operate on the imagination to produce stronger reactions than others. We even need this to consider what is present to our senses as objects, and the succession of perceptions themselves. Otherwise we are stuck in the present, without even memory as stated by Hume, "The memory, senses, and understanding are, therefore, all of them founded on the imagination, or the vivacity of our ideas." (1.4.7, 3)
These are the main principles that sometimes present the conflict of cause and effect which arises between causal reasoning and the belief in continued existence of external objects. However, this is not the only indignity that arises at this point. We must also seek for causes and effects working from the immediate to the remote without being content with knowing the immediate causes, but instead by pushing on our enquiries and then to the "efficacious quality, on which the tie depends." (1.4.7, 5) However this is to be found merely in ourselves, the determination of the mind to make a transition. "Such a discovery not only cuts off all hope of ever attaining satisfaction, but even prevents our very wishes; since it appears, that when we say we desire to know the ultimate and operating principle, as something, which resides in the external object, we either contradict ourselves, or talk without a meaning." (1.4.7, 5)
Hume believed that ideas are always derived from impressions and that we cannot understand a word that we have never seen, unless you...