David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Essay

Despite the enduring impact of his theory of knowledge, Hume seems to have considered himself chiefly as a moralist." (Encyclopaedia Britannica).

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So it only makes sense that some of the ideas and comparisons used are slightly outdated, but science, if anything, helps his argument regarding causality.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.

Thus, by Reid's account, the definition of cause is absurd, and cannot hold (sp) any value. 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. 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. Thus the Sun is the cause of both day and night, not day the cause of night and vice versa.Taking the scientific method of the British physicist Sir Isaac Newton as his model, Hume tried to describe how the mind works in acquiring what is called knowledge. He concluded that no theory of reality is possible; there can be no knowledge of anything beyond experience. In these tables, and also in the Index and Introduction, the references to the Enquiries are made by means of the marginal sections of the present edition, those to the Dissertation by means of the pages of the edition of 1777, and those to the Treatise by means of the pages of the Clarendon Press edition, Oxford, 1888.philosophic writings are to be read with great caution.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 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.To discuss a question of literary justice would be out of place in an Introduction which aims at estimating philosophic importance.Two remarks, however, may be made before passing on.The first two books were published in 1739, and the third book in 1740. He entertained the notion, however, that his want of success in publishing the Treatise ‘had proceeded which, he says, ‘in my own opinion is of all my writings, historical, philosophical, or literary, incomparably the best.’ In the posthumous edition of his Collected Essays of 1777, the Advertisement, on which so much stress has been laid, first appeared.It is printed at the beginning of this reprint, and declares the author’s desire that ‘the following pieces may alone be regarded as containing his philosophical sentiments and principles.’ This declaration has not only been taken seriously by some writers, but they have even complied with it and duly ignored the Treatise.


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