Hume's Theory of the Understanding

Hume's Theory of the Understanding

Hume's Theory of the Understanding

Hume's Theory of the Understanding

Excerpt

It is commonly suggested, as much by methods of exposition and what they ignore as by explicit statement, that Hume's philosophy is negative merely; and that this "total scepticism" derives exclusively from, and wholly depends upon, his views about impressions and ideas. Without those views, his scepticism would lack its premises. Therefore Hume is answered and disposed of simply by the fact that his major premise in method is crudely mistaken.

Yet even a moderately detailed examination of Hume's theories of causal inference and belief in substance may suffice to indicate how groundless is the charge of total scepticism, while at the same time it discloses the character of unanalysed experience in Hume's view. The relation between his critical analysis of causation and that of "the Cartesians," as well as the logical nature of Hume's arguments in that regard, make it plain that his analysis here is independent of his chief psychological dogma. And a brief consideration of Hume's theories of knowledge and belief with respect to the rationalism they would eliminate, and the sort of "atomism" which is held to be their self-stultifying vice, may suggest something of the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.