Of Necessity And Liberty Essay

1698 words - 7 pages

For ages, Philosophers have struggled with the dispute of whether human actions are performed “at liberty” or not. “It is “the most contentious question, of metaphysics, the most contentious science” (Hume 528). In Section VIII of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume turns his attention in regards to necessary connection towards the topics “Of Liberty and Necessity.” Although the two subjects may be one of the most arguable questions in philosophy, Hume suggests that the difficulties and controversies surrounding liberty (i.e. free will) and necessity (i.e. causal determinism) are simply a matter of the disputants not having properly defined their terms. He asserts that all people, “both learned and ignorant, have always been of the same opinion with regard to this subject and that a few intelligible definitions would immediately have put an end to the whole controversy” (Hume 522). Hume’s overall strategy in section VIII is to adhere by his own claim and carefully define “liberty” and ‘necessity” and challenge the contemporary associations of the terms by proving them to be compatible.
As a result of his previous focus on necessity in section VII, Hume’s tactic in this section is to repeat his thoughts on the nature of necessity. He begins by examining “what we are pleased to call physical necessity,” (Hume 526) and try to present an argument of how human actions are necessary (i.e. causally determined). According to Hume, there are laws in nature that are “actuated by necessary forces and that every natural effect is so precisely determined by the energy of its cause that no other effect, in such a particular circumstances, could possibly have resulted from it” (Hume 523). Hume argues that everything that happens, including every human action, is necessitated by antecedent cause— which usually bores resemblance to what is governed by human nature. If circumstances were to be repeated exactly the same, there could be no other outcome than what is expected. He illustrate that the concepts of necessary connections and causation result only from the observation of constant conjunction, “where similar objects are constantly conjoined together and the mind is determined by custom to infer the one from the appearance of another” (Hume 523). Hume progress about how human actions are necessary with a claim that there is a “great uniformity among all the actions of mankind” (Hume 523). He finds that throughout history, across cultures and across ages, human actions and behaviors remains relatively constant. Therefore, Hume emphasize that similar motives produce similar actions and similar causes produce similar events. Human passions and qualities such as “ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit,” (Hume 523) all which have been created from the beginning of time, are still relevant sources of all the actions and driving source that is still observed among human...

Find Another Essay On Of Necessity and Liberty

Theme of Sacrifice in Julia Alvarez's In Liberty and Exile

652 words - 3 pages Sacrificing is the act of giving up, destroying, permitting injury to, or forgoing something valued for the sake of something having a more pressing claim. In Liberty and Exile by Julia Alvarez a lot of people have to take certain responsibilities which can involve sacrificing. Liberty is freedom from external or foreign rule. or independence. The author, Julia Alvarez, has been in simular situations to those in Liberty and Exile. " I

Humanities: Statue of Liberty. The Origin and Implications Thereof.

1113 words - 4 pages throughout the world as a beacon of freedom and a symbol of our country. The story of Lady Liberty is stoked in history and some controversy.The Statue of Liberty was commission to be done by sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, in 1876, in order to memorialize the one hundredth year of the Declaration of Independence. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, assisted Bartholdi with the iron

The Human Rights of Life, Liberty and Property

2062 words - 8 pages The Human Rights of Life, Liberty and Property When Jack Donnelly said "Human rights are a social practice that aims to realize a particular vision of human dignity and potential by institutionalizing basic rights…." I immediately realized that to achieve this, the rights of life (race, religion, and gender), liberty and property are most vital. They are the most important rights in order to attain the

SMOKING: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Health

1121 words - 4 pages SMOKING: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of HealthIn April 1976, Calvin Russell Thompson II, or Rusty, my first nephew, died. He was 2 months old. His death was attributed to Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDs).In September 1977, Katherine Loy-Richardson, my Aunt Kat, died. She was 52. Her death was attributed to breast cancer.In February 1995, Rufus Loy, my father, was diagnosed as having cancerous growths in his throat and left shoulder. He

"Necessity is the mother of invention". Evaluate this statement in relation to scientific and technological experimentation.

4670 words - 19 pages Introduction Rationale This research topic "necessity is the mother of invention. Evaluate this statement in relation to scientific and technological experiment." was chosen for studying in the area of informatics study. However, the research topic was seemed to be in the philosophical term to understand the basic need of technology more than the informatics subject, which deals with creating and developing of computer study. So that this topic

The Necessity of Marrying Well in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

528 words - 2 pages In Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, the necessity of marrying well is one of the central themes. In Austen’s era a woman’s survival depended on her potential to acquire an affluent partner. This meant a choice of marrying for love and quite possibly starve, or marry a securing wealthy person, there was a risk of marrying someone who you might despise. Passage One, portrays the relationship between Marianne and Willoughby. Marianne was

The Use and Necessity of the Atomic Bomb in World War II

1800 words - 7 pages Part A – Plan of Investigation This investigation focuses on the use and necessity of the atomic bomb in World War II. To what extent did the atomic bomb dropped by the United States during World War II save lives? This will be investigated using websites, books, military accounts, and newspaper articles. Military calculations of what potentially could have happened had the United States invaded Japan instead of dropping the bomb will be

In what way does Gaskell argue the necessity of education for girls and women in Wives and Daughters?

2868 words - 11 pages as an independent-minded, mature woman with no impulse towards marriage, witty, intelligent and outspoken" (9)However, Harriet unlike Molly and Cynthia is in a privileged position of wealth and therefore, it is of little consequence to her whether she marries or not. It is therefore, her financial situation that affords her this level of liberty from the constraints of the Victorian marriage and her education simply seems to bolster this choice

How far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintain the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality in France?

2528 words - 10 pages Aïsha Atherly November 2006European HistoryHow far did Napoleon Bonaparte maintain the revolutionary ideals of liberty and equality in France?Prior to the French Revolution, the system of government was based on Absolute Monarchy which meant that the monarch claimed total authority of the state. They were answerable to no one and their word was law. At that time, the social structure in France was in need of desperate reform. It was divided

The Constancy of Change: A Journey to Marriage Equality and Celebrated Personal Liberty.

2158 words - 9 pages fluctuate while others remain unchanged. Since becoming an adult and now in my 40’s, I’ve come to understand that no liberty granted to an American citizen should be taken lightly. I am an avid voter and have been since I was 18. I relish in my right to own property; my home is my castle and I simply love it. More recently, I’ve taken advantage of obtaining a college education; with help from the government, by means of student loans and grants

The Impact of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty During the Cold War

1102 words - 4 pages Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty was a magnificent creation which helped in the demise of the Soviet Union. There is no doubt that the Cold War was full of deception and treachery, that it was necessary from a democratic perspective to hear the true sides of events. The innovations of the Cold War Committee enabled these two stations to beam the correct versions of events behind the Iron Curtain. For many Communist and non-communist; there

Similar Essays

Liberty, Necessity, And Virtue Essay

1654 words - 7 pages basis; as a result human life was reduced to only self-preservation and commodious living. This essay will examine the innovations Machiavelli and Hobbes created especially with their views on virtue, necessity, and liberty. Machiavelli redefined the term virtue from the classical understanding. He did this by incorporating vice into virtue. Machiavelli new understanding of virtue is required and by rulers and soldiers in order to maintain power

Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Rebellion

854 words - 4 pages from slavery to freedom” (78). He comes to perceive the connection between slavery and literacy skills. This crucial realization allows him to plan his way to freedom. He comprehends that literacy will serve as the vital bridge between oppression and liberty. Following his revelation, Douglass trades his physical bread with boys “who, in return, would give [him] that more valuable bread of knowledge” (83). Douglass sacrifices his health to receive

Insanity And The Necessity Of Madness In King Lear

1841 words - 7 pages The Necessity of Madness in King Lear At the beginning of “King Lear,” an authoritative and willful protagonist dominates his court, making a fateful decision by rewarding his two treacherous daughters and banishing his faithful one in an effort to preserve his own pride. However, it becomes evident during the course of the tragedy that this protagonist, Lear, uses his power only as a means of projecting a persona, which he hides behind as

The Question Of Liberty And Freedom Of Women In Islam

1735 words - 7 pages Islam essay A debated matter in contemporary society, which has evolved overtime, is the mounting question of liberty and freedom of women in Islam, with specific reference to the veil. In saying that, the controversial issue of the covering of the head will be discussed with close reference to the Quran, Authentic hadith, scholarly consensus (ijma^) and scholarly articles, particularly talking about the evolution of the matter as well as