Hume's and Anscombe's View on Causation Essays

Length: 1237 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Essay Preview

In this paper I discuss both Hume’s and Anscombe’s view on causation. I begin with Hume and his regularity theory; then I move onto Anscombe where I provide a rebuttal of Hume’s regularity theory, and later I explain how Hume would respond to Anscombe’s objection to Hume’s regularity theory.
Hume’s notion of causation is his regularity theory. Hume explains his regularity theory in two ways: (1) “we may define a cause to be an object, followed by another, and where all the objects similar to the first are followed by objects similar to the second” (2) “if the first object had not been, the second never had existed.”
Hume defines causation in terms of natural necessity and explains natural necessity as follows: of two events, if event A and always event B, then there is a “natural relation” or a “natural association” between the two; this is the kind of reasoning Hume uses to explain natural necessity between things. Here is another way to put it: if A causes B there is a “natural relation” between the two. In other words, the two events are similar.
Later Hume asserts that we cannot perceive causation because all we perceive is the “contiguity” and “succession” of events, but not of causation itself. For example, of two events, event A (person A pushing person B) and event B (person B’s falling back), Hume argues that all we are perceiving here are causes and effects; in other words, we here are perceiving the “contiguity” and “succession” of events, but not of causation itself. This is due to Hume’s idea that events are conjoined with one another. Hume argues that when event A occurs, event B happens simultaneously along with event A. For example, the event in which person A pushes person B, and the event where person B fal...

... middle of paper ...

...th philosophers have strong support for their claims, it seems to me that Anscombe’s argument for causation is the better one. It is evident that Hume’s argument holds flaws, or else he would have not introduced his counterfactual theory; and as a result I must resort to Anscombe. Unlike Hume, Anscombe does not make such strong claims (as to what causation is and how it functions) which allows room for her idea of causation to adapt to different circumstances. For example, Anscombe’s position on causation is unaffected if event A leads to event C, because all one has to say is that there was an interference. In addition, Anscombe’s position is more intuitive than Hume’s position on causation. For example, our common sense tells us that events are caused, not conjoined as Hume claims it to be. For these reasons I believe that Anscombe’s argument succeds that of Hume.

Need Writing Help?

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

Essay on The Regularity View of Causation

- David Hume is a British empiricist which means that he thought that all knowledge is ultimately rooted in sense experience and that all of our ideas derive from preceding impressions of sense or reflection, this theory had a huge effect on Humes account of causation. In this essay I will look at Humes account of causation and examine if any version of the Regularity View of causation can be defended. Before we look at the Regularity View of Causation it is important to look at Humes Copy Principle as his view on causation is linked to this....   [tags: Philosophy ]

Powerful Essays
1717 words (4.9 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]

Powerful Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Analysis of Hume’s Critique of Causation Essay

- Analysis of Hume’s Critique of Causation Sometimes it is hard to be sure what conclusion to draw from a Humean analysis, and he is easy to misrepresent. This is partly because one argument he is engaged in may raise a number of related issues that he has dealt with elsewhere, and some of his points seem contradictory. My wish is to consider some of the possible readings of David Hume’s critique of causation, as it appears in Section VII of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, “On Necessary Connexion”, and their relation to the propositions of Section II, “Of the Origin of Ideas”, and Section X, “On Miracles”....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Essays]

Powerful Essays
1829 words (5.2 pages)

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)

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]

Powerful Essays
1383 words (4 pages)

David Hume ( 1711-1776 ) Essay

- ...   As a result, Hume states that radical results would be a class of ideas in itself, other than those that believe have a fundamental, such as of the substance, the existence and the causality. These ideas are fictitious: "Association of ideas" that are due to certain rules having such similarity, and the difference contiguity, are of the basis of skepticism.   The concept of the I was an object of attack by Hume; was based on the concept of identity of the I or of the spirit human. Hume argued that I was nothing more than a particular form of the substance, and that for him it was substance spiritual, as well as material substance considered an aggregate of qualities without actual o...   [tags: Metaphysics, Ontology, Causality, David Hume]

Powerful Essays
817 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Hume Vs Kant

-      Hume’s ultimate goal in his philosophic endeavors was to undermine abstruse Philosophy. By focusing on the aspect of reason, Hume shows there are limitations to philosophy. Since he did not know the limits, he proposed to use reason to the best of his ability, but when he came to a boundary, that was the limit. He conjectured that we must study reason to find out what is beyond the capability of reason.      Hume began his first examination if the mind by classifying its contents as Perceptions....   [tags: Philosophy Philosophical Hume Kant Essays]

Powerful Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

Essay on Hume vs. Kant

- Many different philosophers have their own way of looking at not only the world, but society as a whole. This is clearly seen with the two philosopher’s Kant and Hume. Though totally different styles of philosophizing and looking at an ethical theory, it is not to say that one’s theory is better or more justified than the other. It is perhaps a different point of view or another opinion to take in. We must not directly rule out either Hume or Kant because both of their ethical theories have been approved by numerous philosophers and scholars alike....   [tags: Hume Kant Compare Contrast Philosophy Essays]

Powerful Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

Hume's Wide Construal of the Virtues Essay

- Hume's Wide Construal of the Virtues ABSTRACT: The term "virtue" has traditionally been used to designate morally good character traits such as benevolence, charity, honesty, wisdom, and honor. Although ethicists do not commonly offer a definitive list of virtues, the number of virtues discussed is often short and their moral significance is clear. Hume's analysis of the virtues departs from this tradition both in terms of the quantity of virtues discussed and their obvious moral significance....   [tags: Hume Virtues Virtue Philosophy Papers]

Powerful Essays
3849 words (11 pages)