Ideas of Descartes, Plato, and Hume Essay

880 Words 4 Pages
Ideas of Descartes, Plato, and Hume


The immediate starting-point of Plato's philosophical speculation was the Socratic teaching. In his attempt to define the conditions of knowledge so as to refute sophistic skepticism, Socrates had taught that the only true knowledge is a knowledge by means of
concepts. The concept, he said, represents all the reality of a thing. As used by Socrates, this was merely a principle of knowledge. Plato took it up as a principle of Being. “If the concept represents all the reality of things, the reality must be something
in the ideal order, not necessarily in the things themselves, but rather above them, in a world by itself” (Chaput, C. p.2). For the concept,therefore, Plato substitutes the
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This is the task of philosophy. “Philosophy, therefore, consists in the effort to rise from the knowledge of phenomena, or appearances, to the noumena, or realities” (Chaput, C. p. 4).

Hume’s beliefs of philosophical ideas was that there is a considerable difference between the perception of the mind, when man feels the pain of excessive heat, or the pleasure of moderate warmth, but then anticipates that this is caused by his imagination. These ideas may seem to be the same as a person’s sense, but they can never reach the origin of thought. Hume strongly believes that when these senses fall upon us, we could say that we almost feel or see it. According to Hume, when we reflect our past sentiments and affections, our thought is a faithful mirror, and copies its objects truly. He now feels that we may divide all the perceptions of the mind into two classes or species, which are distinguished by their different degree of force. The less forcible and lively are commonly noted as Thoughts or Ideas. The other species want a name in the language, and others not to have any specific purpose in philosophy. “Therefore we can use a little freedom, and call them Impressions; employing that word in a sense somewhat different from the usual” (Hume, 316). Impressions are distinguished from Ideas, which are less lively perceptions, when we reflect on any of those sensations or movements above mentioned. At first sight, nothing may seem…