HUMA
7. Hume Induction part 2; Kant part 1 (March 20) (1).pptx

7. Hume Induction part 2; Kant part 1 (March 20) (1).pptx -...

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Hume’s Fork Relations of Ideas “[These] are the sciences of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic; and in short, every affirmation which is either intuitively demonstratively certain. That the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the square of the two sides , is a proposition which expresses a relation between these figures… Propositions of this kind are discoverable by the mere operation of thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe.” Matters of Fact “Matters of fact… are not ascertained in the same manner; nor is our evidence of their truth, however great, of a like nature with the foregoing. The contrary of every matter of fact is still possible… That the sun will not rise to-morrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction than the affirmation, that it will rise .”
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Discussion Question Let’s review Hume’s problem of induction. Discuss these two quotes from his text: “If you insist that the inference [of a matter of fact] is made by a chain of reasoning, I desire you to produce that reasoning. The connection between these propositions is not intuitive. There is a required medium (further premise), which may enable the mind to draw such an inference, if indeed it be drawn by reasoning and argument. What that medium is, I must confess, passes my comprehension….” “When I see, for instance, a billiard-ball moving in a straight line towards another; even suppose motion in the second ball should by accident be suggested to me, as the result of their contract or impulse; may I not conceive, that a hundred different events might as well follow from that cause? May not both these balls remain at absolute rest? May not the first ball return in a straight line or direction? All these suppositions are consistent or conceivable. Why then should we give the preference to one, which is no more consistent or conceivable than the rest? All our reasonings a priori will never be able to show us any foundation for this preference… In a word, then, every effect is a distinct event from its cause.”
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Infinite regress “If I ask why you believe any particular matter of fact, which you relate, you must tell me some reason; and this reason will be some other fact, connected with it. But as you cannot proceed after this manner, in infinitum , you must at last terminate in some fact, which is present to your memory or senses; or must allow that your belief is entirely without foundation.”
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All inferences from experience are effects of custom. “After the constant conjunction of two objects – heat and flame, for instance, weight and solidity – we are determined by custom alone to expect the one from the appearance of the other. This hypothesis seems even the only one which explains the difficulty, why we draw, from a thousand instances, an inference which we are not able to draw from one instance, that is, in no respect, different from them. Reason is incapable of any such variation. The conclusions which it draws from considering one
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