Essay on David Hume On Empiricism

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Hume On Empiricism

The ultimate question that Hume seems to be seeking an answer to is that of why is that we believe what we believe. For most of us the answer is grounded in our own personal experiences and can in no way be justified by a common or worldly assumption. Our pasts, according to Hume, are reliant on some truths which we have justified according to reason, but in being a skeptic reason is hardly a solution for anything concerning our past, present or future. Our reasoning according to causality is slightly inhibited in that Hume suggests that it is not that we are not able to know anything about future events based on past experiences, but rather that we are just not rationally justified in believing those things that …show more content…

Science tries to posit explanations for our existence here and for the existence of everything around us. No matter how many “proofs” exist though, each has to have derived from some “thought” or “idea” that has no concreteness to it. As Hume first explains in his Enquiry, there are relations of ideas that lead us to justify certain scientific proofs empirically. Kant calls this analytic versus synthetic.

In being a naturalist, Hume relates humans as being one in the same with animals, at least when it comes to causal reasoning. We are no more reasonable than animals because the faculty of the human mind that allows us to see into the truth has arisen in us naturally. The sharp difference between humans and animals is the ability to draw on the inference of necessary connections in nature and being able to think about them. Hume does not doubt that there may exist some God with a form of discerning between right and wrong, but he denies that our ability to do so came from such a God. We know a God has to exist only as a cause of the effects we ascribe to him. Hume describes God as an “empty hypothesis” because he is used only to explain certain phenomena that we may not otherwise be able to explain. We have no direct knowledge or first hand experience of God and so we cannot give Him any qualities besides those that we

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