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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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7answers
68k views

What did David Hume mean when he said that “reason is a slave to the passions”?

I don't understand the meaning of this oft-quoted quotation of Hume's in On Reason, namely his saying that "reason is a slave to the passions." What exactly does he mean by that ? Is it simply that ...
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Is Hume's Fork self-refuting?

David Hume wrote: If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it ...
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1answer
347 views

Did Putnam prove Hume wrong about the impossiblity of grounds for ethical claims?

Hume's argument in A Treatise of Human Nature that we can't derive normative judgments from descriptive statements is well known. Recently one of my teachers said that Putnam proved Hume wrong by ...
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Does Karl Popper's work address the Principle of Uniformity of Nature?

It seems to me that Popper's solution does not address the more difficult problem of induction that Hume calls the Principle of Uniformity of Nature. In other words, we might find evidence against a ...
11
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3answers
476 views

Is the notion in Hume that you cannot deduce an “ought” from “is” related to his assertion that reason must be the servant of the passions?

I hear it asserted that David Hume said one cannot deduce an "ought" from an "is". I also find it asserted that he said reason must be only the servant of the passions. I had long uncritically ...
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6answers
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Why isn't existence a predicate?

According to SEP There are two sets of reasons for denying that existence is a property of individuals. The first is Hume and Kant's puzzlement over what existence would add to an object. What is ...
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7answers
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How can I know that I am not immortal? [closed]

You think that you will die just because everyone dies. And you would like to know if you are immortal. How can you know if you are immortal or not?
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7answers
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Why do we need a reason for believing that inductive method is necessarily true?

I've been a bit perplexed about the "problem" of induction. Hume challenges other philosophers to come up with a deductive reason for the inductive connection. If the justification of induction ...
8
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1answer
7k views

How does Kant respond to Hume's problem of induction?

It's generally well-known that Kant was responding, amongst other influences, to Hume's critique of the empirical method on purely logical grounds. One could consider him as a modern-day Pyrrhonniste. ...
8
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2answers
647 views

How does Hume's “Treatise of Human Nature” affect Kant's position on metaphysics?

Paul Strathern states that Kant never actually read David Hume's most celebrated work "A Treatise of Human Nature", although he read and spoke on his work "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding". ...
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2answers
957 views

How long should it take to read and understand the intro to 'A Treatise of Human Nature'?

Today I read the intro to 'A Treatise of Human Nature' by David Hume. I'm somewhat new to reading Philosophical texts and I have never read Hume before. The intro is 1936 words long. I took decent ...
7
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1answer
165 views

Are miracles compatible with our belief in empirical predictions?

I read the SEP entry on miracles a while ago and plan to take a shot at Hume's Of Miracles soon. Before I get started - I cannot understand how miracles even make sense. Here's my thinking so far: ...
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215 views

How can one in principle distinguish causality from observed regularity?

Hume showed that one cannot infer cause & effect in nature by induction alone. We only notice that when event A occurs then so does event B. If event A always occurs before event B we are still ...
6
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1answer
757 views

Did the Logical Positivists accept synthetic a priori knowledge?

My understanding of Logical Positivists is that, following Wittgenstein, they accepted only 2 types of proposition as meaningful: Propositions based on formal logic (i.e. tautologies) Empirically ...
6
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8k views

What is the contrast between Hume's and Locke's philosophies of science?

I'm writing an essay on Hume and was hoping to contrast his empiricism to Locke's in it. I have come across a commentary, which doesn't go into great depth; could someone explain it in a little ...
6
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491 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
495 views

Kant and causality as custom

According to Hume, causality cannot be found in "things themselves", nor can it be empirically accessible. Instead, it is we, the observers, who attach causal relations among things merely because we ...
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4answers
762 views

How fatal is Rands error in tackling Humes is-ought distinction?

Rand calls her philosophy Objectivism as she declares this moral philosophy is wholly & entirely rational and that the world has an objective character: It is out there. Hume, on the other hand ...
6
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1answer
221 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
138 views

Conditions for Deduction

Hume posited a well known critique of causality that goes back to al-Ghazali - that there is no necessary connection between a cause and an effect. The same argument it seems can be targeted to ...
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339 views

Should one consider it a 'miracle' that the world exists?

Miracles are used generally in theological/religious contexts. Outside of them they're seen as either rationally explicable as signifiers of theological truths that are uncovered by hermeneutics of ...
6
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1answer
485 views

Is there a contradiction between belief in causality and belief in the continued existence of matter?

In A Treatise of Human Nature, section 1.4.7 (the conclusion of part 1), Hume states that there are some circumstances in which belief in the continued existence of matter and the belief in cause and ...
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1answer
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Missing Shade of Blue in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume [duplicate]

I was reading An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding by David Hume, and came across (a couple days ago) a part wherein Hume draws a counterexample towards his epistemological theory and drops it. ...
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How “hard” is A Treatise of Human Nature to read?

Can someone, without any prior knowledge of philosophy, pick up Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature and read it without a problem?
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2answers
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Hume and free will

What exactly does Hume consider acting out of free will/being free? Are those two things even the same to him? Now, I believed Hume's definition for being free, to be that if you are doing what you ...
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How does 'Is–ought' 'subvert all the vulgar systems of morality' ?

Source:: Hume discusses the problem in book III, part I, section I of his book, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739): ... But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to ...
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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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1answer
618 views

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 is the difference between correlation and causation?

What is the difference between correlation and causation? Pirates and Global Temperature Example For example, how do we know when we're dealing with correlation only and not also causation here? ...
5
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135 views

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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200 views

How would Hume classify computer generated mathematical proofs?

Hume's fork divides knowledge of the world into: Analytic a priori: relations of ideas. Synthetic a posteriori: matters of fact, empirical statements about the world. How would Hume classify ...
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Was Kant's Categorical Imperative an answer to Hume's Is-Ought problem?

Hume asked the question how can one move from an 'is' to an 'ought' in his book, A Treatise on Human Nature: In every system of morality, which I have hitherto met with, I have always remarked, ...
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1answer
140 views

If the Humean analysis of causality is correct, why don't we observe causeless events more often?

The Humean analysis of causation would hold that there is no actual relation between two events (being 'cause' and 'effect'), and that any sense of 'causal powers' can be reduced to talk about the ...
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1answer
149 views

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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198 views

In regards to Hume, do geometry, algebra and arithmetic form ideas that do not come from sense perceptions?

"The less forcible and lively are commonly denominated Thoughts or Ideas. The other species want a name in our language, and in most others; I suppose, because it was not requisite for any, but ...
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8answers
350 views

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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5answers
584 views

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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4answers
380 views

Is anyone now writing philosophy in the style of Plato - the Dialogue?

Hume wrote some of his works in the style of a Dialogue following Platos lead; has any-one since? Or is it all prose?
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160 views

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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120 views

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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514 views

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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Is number π empirical or a priori?

I used the example of π, but this applies to other transcendental numbers as well, such as e Kant classified statements into 4 epistemic categories based on two criteria: The Analytic/Synthetic ...
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1answer
572 views

Are Hume's “relations of ideas” the same as analytic a priori judgments?

In his Enquiry concerning human understanding, Hume provides the following definition: All the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds, to wit, Relations of ...
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159 views

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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180 views

“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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Hume and Kant on causality: do their views really differ?

David Hume If one event always follows another we believe the first causes the second. But it is impossible to prove, empirically or logically, that the second event happened because the first ...
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What is Kant’s strategy to overcome Humean skepticism without having recourse to the metaphysical excesses of rationalism?

I understand that by metaphysical excesses, he meant supernatural entities, such as God, or the soul, to explain things in the phenomenal world. Also, to my understanding, Hume's skepticism boils ...
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1answer
737 views

Why does Hume raise the Missing Shade of Blue?

From reading this question on Hume, having read the first seven sections of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (which covers the relevant section), a further question hit me. Hume dismisses ...
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1answer
849 views

On the Objections to Compatibilism

I was reading An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume, specifically the section titled On Liberty and Necessity (both parts). Hume reconciles liberty with metaphysical necessity by an ...
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1answer
275 views

Racism and empiricism - Locke and Hume in the dock?

Edward Said writes in his book Orientalism Similarly-as Harry Bracken has been tirelessly showing-philosophers will conduct their discussions of Locke, Hume, and empiricism without ever taking into ...