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When something appears so obvious that it is uninteresting and yet one knows that others do not find it obvious at all, what one may be missing is understanding what is at stake for them. Why do they not agree with what is obvious? The OP provides some examples from David Hume's Dissertation on Passions that appeared particularly uninteresting and obvious, ...


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The limits of means/ end reasoning 'Ought' operates in a variety of contexts outside means/ end (instrumental) reasoning. Take the case of : 'The train ought to arrive by 21.00hrs'. This means that the probability is that it will arrive by that time. This is a probabilistic prediction unconnected with means/ end reasoning. Again, 'I ought to be at the ...


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I think your summary of Hume's points are shortchanging Hume. Let's take a look at just the first one to make this point. Most of our feelings about things are somewhere between joy and grief. Where they land along this spectrum depends on the probability of something happening and the amount of joy/grief it would cause if it did happen. No, the aspect ...


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Just like now, in Hume's time there was a tendency to dismiss emotions as our animal nature, and essentially meaningless, vs our logical reasoning side as the arbiter of all meaning and virtue. This is deeply suspect, and we should be curious about why it is such a persistent bias. Probably Hume's most significant contributions to moral philosophy, are the ...


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Michael James provides a survey of the history of racism prior to Hume. He mentions that proto-racism may have been present among the ancients based on work by Benjamin Isaac and Denise McCoskey: Thus, Benjamin Isaac (2004) and Denise McCoskey (2012) contend that the ancient Greeks and Romans did hold proto-racist views that applied to other groups which ...


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According tor David Hume : our awareness of causation (or power, force, efficacy, necessity, and so forth - he holds all such terms to be equivalent) is a product of experience [...] what this awareness consists in ? What is meant when some event is judged as cause and effect? Strictly speaking, for Hume, our only external impression of causation ...


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In general, there are three main reasons philosophers make seemingly obvious statements: It wasn't obvious at the time - It might be a commonplace now, but it was controversial and/or groundbreaking at the time. It's a trap - You're being set up to be forced to accept something controversial or groundbreaking that is implied or entailed by the seemingly ...


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'A Dissertation on the Passions' is a minor work compared with A Treatise of Human Nature, Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, and Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals. These are works in which Hume sets out his principal philosophical positions. The passions matter to Hume because they, and not reason in his view, provide the foundations of ...


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If you were to study, or example Psychology, you will notice from the history of Psychology that particular philosophical stances fosters particular psychological approaches. Remember the old adage: We don't know where we are going if we don't know where we come from? It comes into play here in two ways. Firstly, there is deepening your understanding of the ...


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It would help if you were to clarify whether you are being asked what Hume's position was, or what you think about Hume's argument. Assuming the former: In Hume's day, it was common to use the word 'inductive' as complementary to deductive, making 1 true. This is no longer common, however. Abductive inference, for example, is neither, although some ...


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You need to recall that Hume re-analyses causation. Humean causation is not causation as usually understood. The standard idea of causation is that causes necessitate their effects, that given the cause (event A) the effect (event B) cannot but happen. In other words the standard idea runs on a notion of a necessary connexion between causally related events. ...


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Perhaps the major difference is that Hume derives from experience whatever categories he uses - or supposes that he does so. To take causation as a star example: Hume derives the category of causation from experience in the following way. When event A is prior to event B (priority); when A and B are close in space and time (contiguity); and when A-type ...


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Any commentator on 17th- or 18th-century philosophy is likely to have problems with the concept of an 'idea', which is many-ways ambiguous - often in the same writer. Descartes In the Meditations Descartes distinguishes three kinds of ideas: 1.Innate (ideae innatae) 2.Adventitious (ideae adventitiae) 3.Invented by myself (a me ipso factae) In ...


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Hume was deeply skeptical of metaphysics. For a non-philosopher this includes topics such as being, essence, substance, space, time, the self, and causation. For example: in A Treatise of Human Nature Hume argues that we have no innate concept of Cause and Effect (C\E) and that C\E is not rationally known but instead we develop the concept of it through ...


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Welcome, JorgeAmVF Treatise I & EHU It would be a mega-task to work out the full relation of Treatise I to EHU - and the outcome certainly not beyond challenge. The following extract from an article by Phillip Cummins throws some light, however. Four main point are involved : ... In closing may I suggest that [1 - GLT] Hume disowned the Treatise ...


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You gave an example of a hypothetical imperative. It's an if-then statement and there's nothing wrong with it. But you derived your ought from an if, not an is. You cannot directly derive an ought from an is. Indirectly, yes, you can use "if" statements to do the job. The problem with this is that you have to assume something which isn't necessarily the ...


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If Hume claims that the only vice is murder, then he can restrict the discussion to murder. However, if Hume is making a claim about vice in general, and Hume acknowledges that there are actions other than murder than are correctly classified as vices, then we are free to consider other examples of vices. Consider the example of cheating in a sporting ...


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Welcome to PSE. To begin, Hume does not offer this argument from analogy as a 'proof' but only as 'strong'. Also he has in mind not a correlation merely 'strong' (or frequent) but a correlation exceptionless in experience: 'all alterations which we have ever seen in the one, are attended with proportionable alterations in the other'. More than that, ...


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There is, I think, a certain ambiguity in Hume's text, with regard to the word 'cause', and this might indeed cause (...) some confusion. Aristotle famously distinguished four kinds of "causes" (material, formal, efficient and final) which correspond to four kinds of explanation. In modern philosophy, and in Hume in particular, the word "cause" is often ...


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William Edward Morris and Charlotte R. Brown present a view of Hume's idea of causation that may help resolve the OP's question whether probability could justify causal inference through reason or understanding. As the OP notes, effects are not necessarily true given past events believed to be causes of those effects. So, one cannot justify causal ...


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Kant thought that the answer is yes, see ought implies can (OIC):"The action to which the "ought" applies must indeed be possible under natural conditions" [A548/B576]. Moore, and many others, accepted Kant's dictum, for we “cannot say of anyone that he ought to do a certain thing, if it is a thing which it is physically impossible for him to do” (1922: 317)....


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Racism conceptualised Racism rests on two basic assumptions: that a correlation exists between physical characteristics and moral qualities; that mankind is divisible into superior and inferior stocks. Racism, thus defined, is a modern conception, for prior to the XVIth century there was virtually nothing in the life and thought of the West ...


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I think the problem arises from the assumptions inherent in the philosophical subject-predicate form. The underlying principle seems to be that the predicate should qualify the subject in the sense that it becomes more specific; it should refine it. So "A ball is in my garden" is refined by "The ball in my garden is blue". The problem with existence as ...


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Questions about the practical implications of philosophy are dense and complex, not easily handled here. I take the heart of the question to be about the more specific subject of Locke and Hume and the 'explicit connection' between their empiricist philosophies, their racialist views and entanglement with colonialism and imperialism. I include slavery in the ...


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