Essay on Cause and Effect According to Hume

Essay on Cause and Effect According to Hume

Length: 832 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Hume starts to have skeptical doubts about the operations of understanding. He says there are two types of human understanding (only one of them concerns his inquiry into what we know to be true or certain). Hume says that all of the faculties of human reasoning are divided into two kinds; relations of ideas and matters of fact. Relations of Ideas are knowledge that is found of the sciences or mathematics. They are required without experience and can be proved without experience, for example, the Pythagorean Theorem. Or that three times five equals to fifteen. Negations of relations of ideas imply a contradiction for example three times five equals twenty. However, Hume is not concerned with relations of ideas because relations of Ideas cannot be anything but true. Matters of Fact (Ironically we call them facts, when they are, in fact not) I contrast with relations of ideas, can always in our minds be refuted and contradicted. For example, the sun will not rise tomorrow is no more of a contradiction than saying the son will rise tomorrow. Matters of fact rely on experience. All reasoning dealing with matters of fact are made out of the relation of cause and effect on sense impression.
The knowledge of that cause and effect is not a priori, it comes from the senses. If we see some new object, we will be able to know any of it cause and effects. When we came into contact with this new object we are not able to know automatically what caused it or what it might cause. This is true for billiard balls. We think that we can predict simply from witnessing one billiard ball hitting another would happen after, but we cannot infer this a priori, without experience. The only reason we think could or would know what happens is because we ha...

... middle of paper ...

... we get when experiencing said constant conjunction. This “feeling” confirms our belief that this thing exist or is caused by what we believe it is caused by. For example God, people believe in god because of a feeling the get when presented with a benevolence. In Christianity this is called the “holy spirit”. This habit of making connections between events and their assumed causes have helped us survive. When we see someone get punched in the face and then the same action is presented before us, we don’t just stay there and get punched in the face, we make the assumption that we’re about to get punched and try to duck out of the way. There is no impression subjectively or objectively (sensory) that links with necessary causation. Though there is nothing to our idea of causation other than constant conjunction and by no means will we be able to predict the future.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on David Hume and Future Occurrences

- In An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume demonstrates how there is no way to rationally make any claims about future occurrences. According to Hume knowledge of matters of fact come from previous experience. From building on this rationale, Hume goes on to prove how, as humans we can only make inferences on what will happen in the future, based on our experiences of the past. But he points out that we are incorrect to believe that we are justified in using our experience of the past as a means of evidence of what will happen in the future....   [tags: Philosophy Hume Philosophical Essays]

Free Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Causation: Understanding the Process of Cause and Effect Essay

- Causation is a process that happens due to constant human action throughout our day-to-day lives. In saying this, very simply describing it as such can derive a definition; causation is the action of causing something (Oxford Dictionaries 2014). David Hume, a well known philosopher on the topic of causation observes that while we may understand that two events seem to occur in conjunction, there is no way for us to know the nature of the connection (T. Honderich 2001). Hume provides an exceptionally strong argument that this paper will support and attempt by using examples in order to reinforce and justify why Hume’s theory is still relevant....   [tags: Hume, phylosophical analysis]

Better Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Metaphysics as Addressed by Kant and Hume Essay

- Metaphysics as Addressed by Kant and Hume In the Prolegomena, Kant states that reading David Hume, "awakened him from his dogmatic slumber." It was Hume's An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding that made Kant aware of issues and prejudices in his life that he had previously been unaware of. This further prompted Kant to respond to Hume with his own analysis on the theory of metaphysics. Kant did not feel that Hume dealt with these matters adequately and resolved to pick up where Hume had left off, specifically addressing the question of whether metaphysics as a science is possible....   [tags: Papers Kant Hume Philosophy Essays]

Better Essays
1383 words (4 pages)

Essay on David Hume's Theory of Knowledge

- Empiricism (en- peiran; to try something for yourself): The doctrine that all knowledge must come through the senses; there are no innate ideas born within us that only require to be remembered (ie, Plato). All knowledge is reducible to sensation, that is, our concepts are only sense images. In short, there is no knowledge other than that obtained by sense observation. Remember that according to Descartes, what I know first and foremost are my ideas. It is only later that he seeks to know if the extramental world exists, and so he begins with his ideas and then moves towards real being (rather than vice versa)....   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Free Essays
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Analyzing The Assertions By Hume Essay

- The paper will critically reconstruct the assertions by Hume in his book that what begins to exist must have a cause for its existence is neither intuitive nor certainly demonstrated. This will include and analysis of the causation argument and the effects towards induction. The conclusions, the premises and their reasons as given by Hume in his other works will also be examined. The paper will analyze the reasons given by Hume and establish whether they are a good enough. Comments on whether his conclusions follow will also feature in the paper....   [tags: Causality, Metaphysics, Ontology]

Better Essays
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Hume 's Theory Of Induction Essay

- Hume’s ideas may seem to be contradictory to people who try to understand, but they are not. He simply has similar ideals that just change when the circumstances change. When it comes to our natural world, Hume believes that induction is not based on reason, neither demonstrative or moral reasoning, but customs, the individual’s instincts or habits. However, when Hume explains his beliefs that people should make aninference, or prediction, about a person’s future or private behaviors based off their past ones, he is speaking with regards to the fact that people are not predictable....   [tags: Logic, Reasoning, Psychology, Thought]

Better Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)

David Hume´s Philosophy Essay

- Hume’s Epistemology David Hume was a Scottish philosopher known for his ideas of skepticism and empiricism. Hume strived to better develop John Locke’s idea of empiricism by using a scientific study of our own human nature. We cannot lean on common sense to exemplify human conduct without offering any clarification to the subject. In other words, Hume says that since human beings do, as a matter of fact, live and function in this world, observation of how humans do so is imminent. The primary goal of philosophy is simply to explain and justify the reasoning of why we believe what we do....   [tags: Ideas,Impressions]

Better Essays
889 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on David Hume on Miracles

- Hume’s empiricist ideology clearly informed his position on the topic of miracles. In the following, I will examine Hume’s take on empiricism. From this it will be possible to deduce how Hume’s empiricism played a prominent role in influencing his belief on miracles. First, what were the principles of Hume’s empiricism. Hume claims that everyone is born with a blank slate (tabula rasa). The tabula rasa receives impressions which are products of immediate experience. For example, the color of the computer screen I am looking at represents an impression....   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Better Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on David Hume On Empiricism

- Hume On Empiricism The ultimate question that Hume seems to be seeking an answer to is that of why is that we believe what we believe. For most of us the answer is grounded in our own personal experiences and can in no way be justified by a common or worldly assumption. Our pasts, according to Hume, are reliant on some truths which we have justified according to reason, but in being a skeptic reason is hardly a solution for anything concerning our past, present or future. Our reasoning according to causality is slightly inhibited in that Hume suggests that it is not that we are not able to know anything about future events based on past experiences, but rather that we are just not rationa...   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Better Essays
1197 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about David Hume

-       "There are more things n heaven and Earth than dreamt of in your philosophy" (Shakespeare, 211).  This quote from William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark presents quite an idea.  It suggests that in our modern philosophy we have not even began to scratch the surface of what causes the nature of things around us.  Our philosophy is centered on the idea of cause and effect.  Whether a person realizes it, every standpoint that they argue from is based on a cause and/or its effect.  There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this, but most people don't bother to analyze what the true connection is between a cause and it's effect.  David Hume does an outstanding job...   [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]

Free Essays
1296 words (3.7 pages)