Hume's Conflict between Causal Reasoning and Existence of External Objects

Decent Essays

Hume Conflict between Causal Reasoning and Existence of External Objects In this essay I will be discussing a very important conflict that Hume reflects in the conclusion of Book I, A Treatise of Human Nature. The thesis of this essay is to analyze the "conflict" between causal reasoning and the continued existence of external objects. Now, to be more specific I should say that I am inclining on Hume's side about the conflict being real for same thing cannot exist at one time and again at a later time, and also in between or at the same time. To summarize the conflict presented, it basically involves cause and effect, yielding the primary/secondary quality distinction and continued existence of matter depending on secondary …show more content…

However, this is not the only indignity that arises at this point. We must also seek for causes and effects working from the immediate to the remote without being content with knowing the immediate causes, but instead by pushing on our enquiries and then to the "efficacious quality, on which the tie depends." (1.4.7, 5) However this is to be found merely in ourselves, the determination of the mind to make a transition. "Such a discovery not only cuts off all hope of ever attaining satisfaction, but even prevents our very wishes; since it appears, that when we say we desire to know the ultimate and operating principle, as something, which resides in the external object, we either contradict ourselves, or talk without a meaning." (1.4.7, 5) Hume believed that ideas are always derived from impressions and that we cannot understand a word that we have never seen, unless you or I, have experienced sensory impressions of such a word or have had its meaning explained by means of other words that were directly associated with sensory impressions, at the time of learning. The meaning of such a word can be learned this way, only in such a way that the idea it expresses is complex and analysable into simpler components, in which all

Get Access
Get Access