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Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume Essay

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David Hume wrote Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding in 1748, right in the middle of the Enlightenment and on the eve of the Industrial and Scientific Revolution. So it only makes sense that some of the ideas and comparisons used are slightly outdated, but science, if anything, helps his argument regarding causality. Hume is ultimately concerned with the origins of causality, how we are able to gain knowledge from causality, and if we can even call the knowledge derived from causality real knowledge. This is essentially the problem of induction, and is a central pillar of Hume's overall philosophy. There are some significant objections to Hume's ideas concerning causality, but they do not hold much clout and are no match for his…show more content…
Therefore, it can be asserted that knowledge gained from causality is not a priori, rather a posteriori, which is knowledge gained from experience and empirical evidence. One objection to Hume's definition of causality was written by a fellow (omit) named Thomas Reid. His problem with Hume's definition was that it led to absurd conclusions. The example Reid uses is one of night and day. Reid asserts that if one follows Hume's definition of cause, then one can postulate that day is the cause of night, and night is the cause of day, which goes on forever and is circular. Thus, by Reid's account, the definition of cause is absurd, and cannot hold (sp) any value. This cannot be further from the truth. Reid's example is severely (sp) lacking in rational thinking, but one cannot blame him too much due to the time period in which he resided. omit in. The fact of the matter is that day is not the cause of night, nor is night the cause of day. As the Earth rotates on its axis, half of the Earth is bathed in the Sun's light, while the other half is in darkness. This is always the case, even as the Earth spins. Thus the Sun is the cause of both day and night, not day the cause of night and vice versa. Reid's objection now has very little ground to stand on, and it is made even more apparent when one considers certain Alaskan towns, which depending on the season, can experience more than 24 hours of night at a time. It is by
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