17_enquiry - 24.01 Classics of Western Philosophy Prof. Rae...

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24.01 Classics of Western Philosophy Prof. Rae Langton IV. Hume Lecture 1 7 . Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (contd.) 1. Section VII. ‘Of the Idea of Necessary Connexion’ . This section contains Hume’s famous sceptical attack on the notion of causation. Hume says: There are no ideas, which occur in metaphysics, more obscure and uncertain, than those of power, force, energy or necessary connexion (750) He reminds the reader of the principle that all our ideas are nothing but copies of our impressions, and asks: from what impression, then, is our idea of power or necessary connection copied? We can ask some questions about his question. Is Hume interested in the meaning of our idea of causation? That is a semantic issue. Is he interested in our knowledge of causation? That is an epistemological issue. Is he interested in whether there is any causation? That is a metaphysical issue. There are some reasons for thinking he is interested in all three.
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17_enquiry - 24.01 Classics of Western Philosophy Prof. Rae...

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