A summary of Hume's perspective is as follows:
When we reason about matters of fact to reach new conclusions, we use cause and effect: when a dropped ball hits the ground (observation), it bounces (observation), but it does not bounce when it is not dropped (observation); therefore, the dropping of the ball causes the ball to bounce.
It is merely “supposed” that there is a causal connection allowing us to infer this cause. But this connection is not necessarily true (we can imagine a world where it is false), and it is not an empirical observation (we do not directly observe any sort of causal link). Causal connection is more akin to a guess we make from experience, when things are “constantly conjoined.”
Since we need past experience (e.g., balls that are rubber can bounce, gravity pulls things downwards, I have seen a ball bounce before, etc.) to reason about any effects of an object, all the laws of nature “are known only by experience.”
This is dissatisfying, as it boils down to saying "it happened before like that, so I expect it to happen again in the same way."
A solution to the unknowability of causal relationships:
What if the two billiard balls are not separate objects, but one object, together with the table and the person who strikes them? Therefore, there is no need for necessary connections. We simply understand the system by observing it. What we perceive as “cause” is just an observation of how the larger system works, similarly to how we would observe movement. You could expand the system to as large as is necessary (the entire observable universe). This seems natural as there is no clear objective separation between a ball and a table (only human-made distinctions).
But even in this larger system, we can not differentiate correlation-only relationships from causal relationships. However, thinking of seemingly causal relationships as properties of a larger system is a bit different from Hume’s thinking: it implies that a good description of reality truly does not contain causal relationships, where Hume believes that there may be causal relationships, but we have no way to determine them.
Is this conclusion and my reading of Hume valid?
Are these perspectives different in substance or only by the definition of what an object is?