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What Is Hume Theory? How Does Hume Define Cause? Define Empiricism And Skepticism

Referencing Styles : Harvard | Pages : 1

David Hume was a famous 18th century empiricist who invented the theory, which states that all knowledge is derived from the senses, which is also known as empiricism. According Hume empiricism argues that the only way of learning comes from practical experience in simple words it can be stated that knowledge can be acquired from touch, taste, sight, smell and all other methods of feelings. Hume’s theory also states that it is not possible to know what true knowledge is.

Hume in his theory tried to make a difference between impressions and the ideas. These two things helped Hume to form the basis for his thoughts on causation. From the theory of Hume, it has been possible to know the fact that impression is something that we derive from our senses. However, the faint images of thinking reasoning and beliefs are just the ideas that are formed based on human impression. Impression helped human beings to think about different ideas and to find out logic behind such thinking.

How does Hume define cause?

Cause

Hume also defined what cause is; according to him, human beings often form their ideas from causation, or in the relationship between the cause and effect. When human beings experience the outcome of an impression, they expect that the impression will always bring about the same effect.  According to Hume, the notion of cause and effect is a complicated idea that is made up of three more fundamental ideas these are priority in time, proximity in space, and necessary connection. Concerning priority in time, if an individual say that event X causes event K one thing become clear to us that due to the occurrence of event X, event K happens.  If K occurs before X then it would be absurd to state that X was the cause of K. the idea of proximity states that if X causes K, and then it means that K is in proximity to X.  for example if any one throws a rock in the air in America  and at that same time  the window of any person who resides in England is broken it would not conclude that  my the rock thrown in America broke the window in England. The broken window and the rock must be in conformity with each other. Priority and the proximity alone cannot make up the entire notion of the causality. Priority traces back to our various experience of time and proximity traces back to our various experience of space but the main point in this cause and effect relationship is the idea of necessary connection. The notion of necessary connection is the specific focus of Hume’s analysis of cause and effect.

Empiricism and skepticism as well as highlight Hume's thoughts on impressions versus ideas.

Empiricism

The theory of empiricism states that human beings acquire knowledge through touches senses and other practical feelings.  He emphasizes the utility of knowledge as opposed to its correctness and suggests that experience begins with feelings rather than thought. He states that it is impossible for any individual to gain true knowledge as no one knows  the actual meaning of true knowledge. He states that the laws that the individual discover must be established by observation and experiments. Hume has proposed an empiricist alternative to traditional knowledge acquiring process. His empiricism is naturalistic in that if refuses to countenance any appeal to the supernatural in the explanation of human nature.

Skepticism

According to Hume skepticism is related with the truthfulness of human perception and ideas . on the level of perception , Hume was the first thinker to consistently figure out the negative implications of the representative theory of perception. As per the view of Hume , when an individual say that he perceive something such as an elephant what the individual actually mean is that he have in his mind a mental idea or an image or impression of elephant. Such a perception is an internal mental subjective representation of something that he assumes to be an external physical objective fact. However, there are two problems inherent in ascribing any truth to such perception. If truth is understood as the conformity or adequacy between the image and the object then it sis not possible to establish that there is a true world of object since the only evidence an individual have of an external world consists of internal images. In addition to that it will not be possible to judge how faithfully mental impressions or ideas represent physical objects. Hume is however aware about the fact that this short of skepticism with regard to the senses does violation of common sense, for this reason he suggests a position of complete skepticism.

Distinction between impressions and ideas

An important part of Hume philosophy is based on the fundamental distinction between the two kinds of perception that is impressions and ideas. The existing views of the distinction are that the former are livelier than the latter and the former are casually prior to the latter.  The difference between impression and ideas are marked by a difference of forcefulness and vivacity so that impression roughly to feelings and ideas to thinking. According to Hume, impressions are related with the feelings of any individual and on the other hand, ideas come from the thinking process of the human beings.

Hume find out another distinction between ideas and impression, it states that the basic building blocks of all thought are simple impression like single color , single shapes , smell and so on and to each impression there is a corresponding idea. So from that it can be stated that impression comes first and based on that the human beings make an idea about that object. For example suppose we are considering an impression about an elephant it comes to our mind about the shape size color and smell of elephant and based on that impressions it will be possible for us to make an idea about elephant.

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