StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Humes Philosophy - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Humes Philosophy

The diverseness of these writers shows what they gleaned from reading Hume; it reflects not only the richness of their sources but also the wide range of Hume's empiricism. Contemporary philosophers recognize Hume as one of the most thoroughgoing exponents of philosophical naturalism.
David Hume sought to develop more fully the consequences of Locke's cautious empiricism by applying the scientific methods of observation to a study of human nature itself. He was of the opinion that we cannot rely on the common-sense pronouncements of popular superstition, which illustrate human conduct without offering any illumination, nor can we achieve any genuine progress by means of abstract metaphysical speculation, which imposes a spurious clarity upon profound issues- that we are entirely unjustified in thinking that we can ever know anything about matters of fact. He thought that the alternative is to reject all easy answers; employing the negative results of philosophical skepticism as a legitimate place to start.
Hume felt that since human beings live and function in the world, we should try to observe how they do so. The key principle to be applied to any investigation of our cognitive capacities is, then, an attempt to discover the causes of human belief. According to Hume, the proper goal of philosophy is simply to explain why we believe what we do. His own attempt to achieve that goal was the focus of Book I of his book, the Treatise of Human Nature and all of the first Enquiry.
. He defines these terms thus in his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: "By the term impression, then, I mean all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will. And impressions are distinguished from ideas, which are the less lively perceptions, of which we are conscious, when we reflect on any of those sensations or movements above mentioned." He further specifies ideas, saying, "It seems a proposition, which will not admit of much dispute, that all our ideas are nothing but copies of our impressions, or, in other words, that it is impossible for us to think of anything, which we have not antecedently felt, either by our external or internal senses." This forms an important aspect of Hume's skepticism, for he says that we cannot be certain a thing, such as God, a soul, or a self, exists unless we can point out the impression from which the idea of the thing is derived.
Hume's analysis of human belief begins with a careful distinction among our mental contents: impressions, which are the direct, vivid, and forceful products of immediate experience; ideas are merely feeble copies of these original impressions. (Enquiry II) for example, the color of the ink on which this script is printed is an impression, while the memory of the color of my former car is merely an idea. Hume assumed every idea must be derived from an antecedent impression, thus it always makes sense to inquire into the origins of our ideas by asking from which impressions they are derived.
Hume went further in Enquiry IV i to distinguished between two sorts of belief. Relations of ideas are beliefs grounded wholly on associations formed within the mind; they are capable of demonstration because they have no external referent. Matters of fact are beliefs ...Show more

Summary

David Hume (1711-1776) is generally regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English, he was also noted as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, Hume's major philosophical works are: A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), and the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779)…
Author : osmitham
Humes Philosophy essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Humes Philosophy"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Hamiltons and Jefferson's political philosophy
This collision of ideologies started in the 1790’s after George Washington became the first president. Both the men represented different ideologies, keeping in mind the important factor that both men are considered among the founding fathers of United States.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Philosophy of Locke
Therefore we sometimes ought to believe proofs about a miracle we have a reliable witness. The significance of the revelation and the unbelievable nature of the miracle seem to proof one another. Nicholas Wolterstorff says on this topic, that Locke "assumes that if we do as we ought and subject the testimony of the gospel writers to the same evidential tests to which we subject any other testimony .
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
David Humes Philosophy of Morality
Although reason plays .an instrumental role, only sentiment can generate the approbation and blame necessary to make moral distinctions. Hume suggests that virtue can be defined as "whatever mental action or quality gives to a spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation; and vice the contrary" (ECPM, p.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Assess in what way you think Emmanuel Kant may claim to have overcome David Humes skepticism
In other words, epistemology is a theory which aspires to find out the questions connected with an origin, methods, development and other problems of knowledge. Epistemology is connected with fundamental problems of ontology, in particular with the conflict between idealism and materialism.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Metaphysics questions
That base line he determined was the fact that he was a cogent being, therefore he was real. 2. Bacon said that the four idols of the mind were the Idols of the Tribe, Idols of the Cave, Idols of the Market place, and
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
: Hume is regarded as an empiricist; but he should be seen as Empiricism's greatest critic. Discuss
.(they) should try to observe how they do so” (Kemerling, 2001), and based on these observations come to logical conclusions. Eschewing any evidence not based on
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Philosophy of science
Due to such significance of inductive suppositions, a huge number of experts, philosophers, and scientists1 have put efforts to evaluate and analyze the role of inductive inferences in scientific achievements of the humans. In specific,
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Explain Kants response to Humes skepticism & whether or not the divine pre-formation theory answers the problems in Kants theory
Hence, even though reasoning and experience designate that objects function in a predictable way, this somehow fails to necessarily provide evidence how objects will behave in the near future depending on their former
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Philosophy
There are two main perspectives in philosophy that give answers to these concerns. It is noted that these theories do not have to necessarily oppose each other, but can be used to support each
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Humes Dialogues
According to him, this shows that God is similar to human beings. He asserts that fitting of means to ends throughout nature is similar to the manner in which human beings fit means to ends of things through human design, thought and wisdom. Using the rule of analogy, Cleanthes explains that because the effects are similar, so are the causes.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation