Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - An Enquiry...

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David Hume Hume is a skeptic. Unlike Berkeley and Descartes he believes that skepticism isn’t something to be worried about (though it’s pervasive) Before we had Sensations- simple ideas; have only 1 piece of content (auditory, visual, etc); we don’t notice these ideas individually, far too simple o Hume calls sensations “impressions.” They impress their contingent on you. Reflection- cognitive mental idea about sensation o Hume calls this an idea Idea and impression = perceptions Up until now no difference but name change Copy principle- all our ideas come from previous impressions o There’s an apple. It has no parts as an idea that weren’t impressions before. Mosaic of impressions. There’s a vivacity and force to our impressions that our ideas didn’t have. There’s more force and vivacity to the ideas that we currently have. The most lively thought is still inferior to the dullest sensation. Relations of Ideas vs Matters of Fact Relation of Ideas- propositions that are true (a priori) o A priori- independent on experience, not context dependant; true in any world They’re conceptual/definitional truths 1 + 1 = 2! Matters of Fact- propositions that are true a posteriori o A posteriori- its truth id dependent on experience. o Steve is dressed like a clown. Take this and relate it tot eh real world o Matters of fact are contingent. “It’s cold outside today.” You have to go out and actually see if it’s true or not A relation of ideas, when negated, will always entail a contradiction o Proposition: “All bachelors are unmarried men” Contradiction: No bachelors are unmarried men o Matters of fact, when negated, do not entail contradictions “The sun will rise tomorrow.” It’s an a posteriori argument gathered from experience. It’s contingent because it’ll pass the contradiction test. o Relations of ideas…Pythagorean theorem. These are all conceptual truths you can find by just thinking about them. o Most of what goes on in our thinking are matter of fact and are not relations of ideas (like mowing the lawn) Cause and Effect All reasonings and matters of fact are founded on relations of cause and effect Our coming to know that grass is green depends on causeal relationships (photosynthesis and chlorophyll). All matters of fact are causal in nature and no relations of idea can match (?)
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHIL 140 taught by Professor Nathancox during the Fall '08 term at Kansas.

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Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding - An Enquiry...

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