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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Help with an excerpt from Hume, A Treatise on Human Nature

“To begin with resemblance; suppose we could see clearly into the breast of another, and observe that succession of perceptions, which constitutes his mind or thinking principle, and suppose that he ...
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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? ...
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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 epistemology : impressions, causality, and judgment?

I'm thinking about the phrase of David Hume that suggests that causality fills the world of beings. I don't know how to understand that. This phrase indicates that causality makes experiences possible ...
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Can science deal with value?

In a lecture in Zhihu, Zhang Bu tian restates the view that "science cannot deal with value". And when a man jokingly said "Entropy increase and entropy decrease is the measure of value", Zhang argued ...
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Hume on infinity

I know Hume argued against dividing finite space into infinitely many regions, but I can't seem to find anything regarding his thoughts on infinity itself. From his Enquiry you sort of get that he ...
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Is there any inconsistency in Berkley's philosophy?

Does Berkley's empiricist philosophy contain any inconsistencies? What are the inconsistent sides of Locke's or Hume's philosophies? How is Berkeley's world different from a Matrix-like world? The ...
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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 do you compare the classical(Aristotilean) and Humean picture of the relationship between desire and practical reason?

From my basic understanding, Hume thinks desire leads the intellect, while Aristotle thinks it is more complicated? So we have more agency of our desires in the classical picture?
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Hume's law - misunderstanding?

I have always thought the main argument for/consequence of Hume's law is that just because something is in a certain way, that is not an argument for it to remain that way. E.g., just because ...
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What are the premises of Hume's argument that reason alone cannot be a motive to the will, but rather is the “slave of the passions”?

I don't understand the premises of Hume's argument against moral rationalism if someone could explain it to me please.
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Is there a non singularist analysis of causation which says it's an internal relation?

The final distinction we will need, or more accurately, family of distinctions, is between internal and external relations. What makes them members of a single family is that a relation is internal if ...
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What's wrong with this reconstruction of Nagarjuna?

I was trying to add clarity to my concept of "rebirth" on the Buddhist stack exchange. Nagarjuna's karika, 1.3 (Batchelor) reads: The essence of things does not exist in conditions and so on. If ...
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Is science based on David Hume's “A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence”?

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. … no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more ...
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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 Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding “Algebra, Geometry, and Arithmetic” from “senses and experience”?

Here are two quotes in Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. They seem to contradict one another, and I want to know how/where Hume or his adherents reconcile them. I have not yet finished ...
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How would Hume reply to Kant saying there are synthetic a priori propositions?

In my intro to philosophy class, our teacher presented us with "Kant's revolutionary thesis": There are synthetic a priori propositions. They must be [necessarily are] true without appealing to ...
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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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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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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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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"? ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 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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Hume (Cause and Effect and Substance)

I am having trouble understanding how Hume arrives at the concepts of cause and effect and of substance. Does any of it have to do with every perception being a distinct experience or that causation ...
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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. ...