Questions tagged [hume]

David Hume is a 18th century philosopher and contemporary of Immanuel Kant. He is best known for his skeptics views, empirical analysis, and naturalist positions.

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Hume on Induction vs Education

Hume thinks that mental ideas are built upon repeated observations and habituation, namely by induction. As far as I know, the principal alternative to this view is given by Descartes, postulating ...
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Understanding Kant vs. Hume for a non-philosopher

I am trying to self-study a bit of philosophy. I am an applied mathematician by trade, and am therefore drawn to Kant's work on the limits of human knowledge, in particular his exchange with Hume. I ...
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What do you think of the internet television show the Atheist Experience?

..Any input would be helpful as to make sure that I am on the right track. About 3 years ago I was falling into some religious circular/ontological arguments. I came across the internet/tv show "the ...
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Some questions about the cosmological argument given by Samuel Clarke

The exercise I am doing is as follows: The following are my questions: Why the exercise says that Samuel Clarke's argument "allow for the possibility of causal chains with no beginning"? I ...
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Are Hume's ideas, actually complex ideas?

Hume stated that there are simple and complex ideas. For example, the idea of a pegasus, is complex, because it's composed by "simple" ideas (a horse and wings). But is this very idea about simple ...
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What are the main differences between Hume's Book I of the Treatise and the Enquiry?

It's known Hume's Treatise on human nature wasn't very successful when first released and then he reworked the Book 1 of it in An enquiry concerning human understanding, but where can we see a good ...
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Question on Hypothetico-Deductive Method

I had another quiz related Hypothetico-Deductive (HD) Method. I couldn't answer this because the way it was posed is so baffling to me. I am so sorry to ask all the basic questions (I think all ...
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Clarification regarding “Hume's argument against the justifiability of induction”

This is my quiz problem, in particular on "Hume's argument against the justifiability of induction". I was supposed to do True and False. That every inference is either inductive or deductive. That ...
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Contemporary problem of induction

What is the contemporary opinion on the problem of induction? It seems that no justification can be given, according to the SEP and an Oxford lecturer. It seems that the SEP does not provide any ...
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Do I have the right understanding of Hume's suggested association of ideas?

Hume, in his Treatise of Human Nature says: "two objects are connected together in the imagination, not only when the one is immediately resembling, contiguous to, or the cause of the other, but also ...
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Is the normative value of linguistic usage a counterexample to the impossibility of deriving “ ought” from “is”?

I really believe that one cannot derive " ought" from "is". But the case of linguistic usage causes me some intellectual trouble. (1) Linguistic usage is a simple fact. (2) Linguistic usage ...
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Hume's argument for the subjectivity of morality

I am trying to analyze the following argument by Hume in his Treatise of Human Nature: But can there be any difficulty in proving, that vice and virtue are not matters of fact, whose existence we ...
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Hume's analogy to prove that the soul is mortal

Passage from "The immortality of the soul" by David Hume Where any two items x and y are so closely connected that all alterations we have ever seen in x are accompanied by corresponding ...
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Questions concerning Hume's argument for the unknowability of ultimate causes

I'm currently reading through Hume's An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and I'm having trouble understanding one of his big arguments in the section entitled "Skeptical Doubts Concerning the ...
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Free will and the principle of sufficient reason

According to Hume, "All distinct ideas are separable from each other, and as the ideas of cause and effect are evidently distinct, it will be easy for us to conceive any object to be non-existent this ...
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What does Hume's “customary connection” between objects mean?

David Hume writes "All belief of matter of fact or real existence is derived from some object, present to the memory or the senses, and a customary conjunction between that and some other object." ...
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What am I missing in texts that say things that are so obvious as to seem pointless?

I'm currently taking a course in early modern philosophy. The focus is on psychology, morality, and aesthetics. I've taken philosophy courses in the past, but I'm having a lot of trouble with this one,...
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Constant conjunction of events and probability

Hume argued that it's impossible to say that event A causes event B. For all we know, everytime event B is directly followed by event A, we could be witnessing the "constant conjunction of events." ...
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132 views

Do necessary ought nots follow from impossible oughts?

I'm reading about Hume's is-ought gap and how oughts can't follow from is's. My question is if there are impossible oughts and if these impossible oughts create necessary ought nots. Example: "you ...
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What exactly is the philosophical genealogy of racism, in particular Locke and Hume?

Afua Hirsch in her book, Brit(ish) writes: I was in my thirties when I learned that both Locke and Hume were also important proponents of racism, pouring that same intellect they used to such great ...
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Was Hume a sophist?

rs.29 wrote in an answer to a question about the is-ought problem the following: ...we could hold the is–ought problem only as a obsolete sophism, and not as a real problem. This reminded me of ...
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“Idea of Power” - Locke and Hume

What is the concept of "power" in the context of "causation" in the philosophy of John Locke and David Hume? At one instance, in his treatise "An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding", Hume seems ...
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How does Hume's conception of impressions and ideas lead him to argue that causality can only be probabilistic?

I am trying to understand this concept and it just isn't clicking. Any help would be appreciated!
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Why does Russell's writing suggest that Kant was right about mathematics being synthetic a priori?

As I was reading "The problems of philosophy" by Bertrand Russell I got the impression that Kant was right and Hume was wrong in the case of a priori knowledge of synthetic mathematic nature and I'm ...
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Why does Humean supervenience fail in quantum mechanics?

I am not sure I understand the idea properly. Moreover, why are philosophers so interested in quantum mechanics? What philosophical implications could quantum mechanics have?
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Hume: excavating the is/ ought gap

Why does Hume believe that ought brings a new relation? If means-end reasoning, where we can say that one is ought to do X in order to get Y, does not bring a new relation, then in order to tell that ...
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Hume and the notion of causation

Hume argues that what most people associate as "cause" could be the constant conjunction of events. There is no way to prove a necessary connection between A and B. However, my question has to do ...
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Does Hume reject the possibility of is-ought syllogisms?

Suppose the following syllogism: It is impossible for anyone to get X without him/her doing Y. It is possible to get X (by doing Y). I want to get X. Therefore I ought to do Y. There is, very likely,...
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Is it possible to make sense of reality that is independent 'our understanding'

Kant has a famous quote; Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind This suggests we can't understand anything without (independently of) the use of concepts, which ...
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Moral skepticism and “walking the talk”

It would seem that a substantial minority of philosophers agree with the moral anti-realist position that we have a problem going from "is" to "ought"--that there is no objective correlate of the ...
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341 views

Are Hume's 'impressions' Kant's 'phenomena'?

Why do some philosophers like Carl Stumpf or Immanuel Kant use the word 'Phenomena', whereas British empiricist philosophers, like Locke and Hume, or even Kant, use the word 'Impressions'?
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Where did the conventional notion of human nature become popularized?

Oftentimes in popular media today, we see many themes that boil down to "human nature is to be greedy" or that "human nature is to abuse power that is given". This is not always posed as a negative ...
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How does Descartes' “cogito, ergo sum” affect Hume's experienced based epistemology and Kant's transcendental philosophy?

My attempts so far: Descartes, being a rationalist, used "cogito, ergo sum" to lead to the concept of innate ideas. Hume, being a radical empiricist, believed in experience based epistemology. Kant ...
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Hume and Strawson on Libertarianism and Determinism

a) What is the traditional dispute between libertarianism and determinism, and how does Hume reconcile the two? b) What is Strawson’s claim to be an improvement on Hume?
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On the circularity of induction

Hume's problem of induction is that any attempt to justify induction would lead to a circular argument. Can someone give an example to illustrate this and maybe explain the problem more?
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Why is Hume struggling to reconcile causality with his notion of what is knowable?

This is a follow-up on my earlier question. Regarding causality as involving "a necessary connection between cause and effect" In what sense was Hume struggling to reconcile the "necessity' with his ...
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Hume's problem of induction

Hume argued that assuming A causes B isn't the same as arriving at a truth of logic. However, even though Hume cautioned the "the mental habit" of induction should be used carefully he still believed ...
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Help me understand Earman and Salmon's pragmatic vindication

"Hume showed convincingly that, if nature is uniform, inductive reasoning will work very well, whereas, if nature is not uniform, inductive reasoning will fail. This much is pretty easy to see. [Some ...
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If vast swathes of philosophy are entirely subjective, why do we care about them?

I'll preface this by saying I'm not an informed philosophy academic, but merely bothered. I've heard that conservative political columnist Ben Shapiro is currently writing a book about how he ...
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How does Hume justify his account of the origin of causation to a general sense?

Hume's account of causation explains why we think specific things have causes and explains them in terms of their constant connection in our minds such that we associate them by "habit". Hume brings ...
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Does Popper's falsification view of the problem of induction have any implications for the NEW riddle of induction?

Popper claims to solve Hume's problem of induction by explaining that science does not use induction at all, but rather science can be described by the process of putting forward hypotheses and then ...
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Does Hume's skepticism about induction extend to his treatise?

Can we extend Hume's skeptical conclusions to the treatise itself? How far reaching is Hume's skepticism, and if it is all-encompassing, then what is (as he sees) the purpose of his work?
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How is experience different for Locke and Hume?

Am I right to say that both Locke and Hume are empiricists? Their ideas are pretty similar but they seem to use human's experience as part as their argument differently but I can't seem to point out ...
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Is Goodman's new riddle of induction a restatement of Hume's problem of induction?

I was reading Goodman's [Facts, fictions and forecasts] and was confused by the new riddle of induction. I don't really see what's new about it, it seems to me like a restatement of Hume's problem ...
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Hume: “We learn to be who we are”

I was reading Alison Gopnik's essay in The Atlantic, "How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis", and I came across the following [...] the coherent self is an illusion. My ...
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Do Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox have the same solution?

Both Hume’s Problem and Zeno’s Arrow Paradox freeze an observation in time. Do they have the same solution? To show that the future may not be predicted from the past, the test that David Hume ...
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Hume on matter of fact

Hume says that ideas comes from impression and matters of fact can't have impression. So is it according to Hume that we do not have any impression of things in the daily life such as table, chair? ...
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Why can't uniformity of nature (in principle) be proven deductively?

I've been reading about the problem of induction and I have trouble understanding the argument for nature's uniformity being impossible to prove deductively. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on ...
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What does Hume mean by “genius”?

What does Hume mean by "genius"? I take it to be quite different from modern usage, rather more like "effort" or "application of one's intellect", without implying some particular measure of mental ...
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Who was the Philosopher who said to jump into the fire if you think it is not real?

Just as the title says. There was a philosopher who said that you should jump into a fire if you think it might not exist and see how it goes. I cannot find it on google, maybe I am typing in the ...