David Hume Empiricism Essay

David Hume Empiricism Essay-90
Hume remarks, When we entertain, therefore, any suspicion that a philosophical term is employed without any meaning or idea (as it but too frequent) we need but enquire, from what impression is that supposed idea derived?

He also published a history of Great Britain and, posthumously, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Hume belongs to the tradition of British empiricism that includes Francis Bacon (1561-1626), John Locke (1632-1704), and George Berkeley (1685-1753).

Locke believed in causality, and used the example of the mental observation of thinking to raise your arm, and then your arm raising, whereas Hume believed that causality is not something that can be known, as a direct experience of cause, cannot be sensed.

Locke believed that all knowledge is derived from our senses, which produce impressions on the mind which turn to ideas, whereas Hume's believed that all knowledge is derived from experiences, This was Lockes response to critiques that if knowledge was derived from senses everyone would perceive everything the same. He believed that knowledge was derived from ones own experience with an object or idea, that we have knowledge only of perceptions, because our perceptions may vary from the real world.

The reason why we mistakenly infer that there is something in the cause that necessarily produces its effect is because our past experiences have habituated us to think in this way.

That is, because we have seen in the past that B frequently follows A and never occurs without it, our mind associates B with A such that the presence of one determines the mind to think of the other (see Treatise, Book I, Part III; first Enquiry, sec. Hume maintains that moral distinctions are derived from feelings of pleasure and pain of a special sort, and notas held by many Western philosophers since Socratesfrom reason.David Hume (1711-1776) is unquestionably one of the most influential philosophers of the Modern period.Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, his philosophical works include A Treatise on Human Nature (1739), Essays, Moral and Political (2 vols., 1741-1742), An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).Following Locke, Hume also distinguishes between the simple and complex.Simple impressions and ideas, such as the seeing or imagining of a particular shade of red, admit of no distinction nor separation.Perceptions can be categorized into either ideas or impressions, where ideas are more imaginative, and impressions are the immediate data of an experience.Humes entire theory contradicts lockes in the way that by having knowledge derived from ones personal experience, nothing can ever be known for certain.Complex impressions and ideas, such as the seeing or imagining of an apple, can be analyzed into their component parts.Whereas all simple ideas are derived from and exactly represent simple impressions, many complex ideas are not, and so their veracity must be called into question.Humes analysis of the contents of sense-experience begins with the distinction between impressions and ideas.Impressions, which include all our sensations and passions, are more forceful and lively than ideas, which are the faint images of these in thinking and reasoning (Treatise, p. Ideas are epistemologically inferior to impressions, and the secondary status that Hume gives them stands in marked contrast to a long tradition in Western philosophy which asserts that universal ideasnot singular sense impressionsare the proper objects of the human intellect.

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