Essays24.com - Term Papers and Free Essays
Search

Hume

Essay by   •  October 2, 2010  •  849 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,207 Views

Essay Preview: Hume

Report this essay
Page 1 of 4

Hume on Human Being and Human Knowledge

Hume is an empiricist and a skeptic. He develops a philosophy that is generally approached in a manner as that of a scientist and therefore he thinks that he can come up with a law for human understanding. Hume investigates the understanding as an empiricist to try and understand the origins of human ideas. Empiricism is the notion that all knowledge comes from experience. Skepticism is the practice of not believing things in nature a priori, but instead investigating things to discover what is really true. Hume does not believe that all a posteriori knowledge is useful, too. He believes "all experience is useless unless predictive knowledge is possible." There are various types of skepticism that Hume differentiates, antecedent skepticism from consequent skepticism form his own skepticism that accounts for the limitations of the human kind while at the same time keeps our tendency to be excessive under check.

Hume is afraid that a lot of ideas that philosophers talk about are A priori, meaning before experience. He feels that to make a judgment before the actual experience of it, is simply undependable. To further understand this let us look at Hume's distinction between cause and effect. Hume believes that cause and effect are two completely different and distinct entities. For example, let's look at fire and paper. The two are completely different, even if the fire burns the paper. One cannot find an impression of a connection between the fire and the paper burning. For example, let's take the following propositions: 1. Fire is burning paper. 2. Fire must burn paper. 3. Fire will burn paper. These are all a priori judgments. In other words, there are no connections between any of them. Hume does not believe a priori judgments are viable. In fact, he does not even believe all a posteriori judgments are viable, as was noted above.

Let us take a moment to talk about Hume's origin of ideas. Hume believes in the classic theory of the blank slate Ð'- that when we are born, we come into the world with no ideas. Impression is an imprint, meaning that it is something outside the mind. Impressions are not a priori. Consider the mind to be like a ball of wax, knowledge refers to the imprints on the ball of wax. He's looking for the intrinsic basis. His problem is that scientist and philosophers base knowledge off a priori. If you can trace the idea to the impression then you have the best idea. If you can't then the origin is subjective. Primary qualities are not subjective; they are inseparable from the thing itself. The world that is out there, that makes an impression on your mind. Trace the idea to the impression. It is important to note that Hume believes we do not have impressions of the future.

There is no empirical evidence that the past to carry on to the

...

...

Download as:   txt (4.7 Kb)   pdf (72.3 Kb)   docx (10 Kb)  
Continue for 3 more pages »
Only available on Essays24.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 10). Hume. Essays24.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from https://www.essays24.com/essay/Hume/3306.html

"Hume" Essays24.com. 10 2010. 2010. 10 2010 <https://www.essays24.com/essay/Hume/3306.html>.

"Hume." Essays24.com. Essays24.com, 10 2010. Web. 10 2010. <https://www.essays24.com/essay/Hume/3306.html>.

"Hume." Essays24.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. https://www.essays24.com/essay/Hume/3306.html.