Essay on David Hume and His Thoughts

Essay on David Hume and His Thoughts

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David Hume and His Thoughts


Hume begins his argument by observing that there is “a great variety
of taste, as well as of opinions, which prevails the world.” This
diversity is found among people of the same background and culture
within the same group and is even more pronounced among “distance
nations and remote ages.” A “standard of taste” would provide a
definite way to reconcile this diversity. By taste, Hume refers to
impressions or emotional responses associated with beauty and
ugliness. Each person perceives beauty differently or, in other
words, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Hume then starts to
outline this thesis. Sentiments are subjective and can neither be
right or wrong. “Judgments of understanding,” on the other hand, are
based on facts and can be right or wrong. Hume continues to state
that there are rules that can be employed to resolve critical
disputes, which requires that one be able to prove that the rule is
applicable to any case. It is then possible that the “bad critic” may
acknowledge his/her error. Hume writes that in “every creature there
is a sound and defective state,” and those with a sound state are
“true judges.” His thesis is that true judges have the ability to
transcend their cultural-historical situation and exercise a sense of
taste with objectivity that relies on facts.

2. Individual Taste

Hume does not feel that one individual’s taste is necessarily equal to
the taste of another individual. Again, Hume opens his argument with
an observation that there is great diversity of taste among
individuals of the same background and culture. This variety is even
greater whe...


... middle of paper ...


... For critics, judgment
comes into it along with sentiment. Thus critics will rate something
highly that is not to their personal taste. This phenomenon occurs
because critics will apply standards with disinterest. Hume makes
another good point that any critic can be wrong on a give issue.
However when you take the judgment of many critics, you see that the
admiration for Homer’s works endure regardless of changing fashions
because his works must be something that is excellent due to objective
judgments.

7. Ideas of My Own

Though, Hume was specifically speaking of art and aesthetic judgment,
I believe that these principles can be used in other subject areas.
Whether the individual is analyzing art or analyzing science, they
must apply standards with disinterest in order to make an informed
judgment.

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