David Hume's Philosophy of Knowledge
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The paper discusses Scottish philosopher David Hume's argument that an individual's understanding of the natural world is dependent upon his or her direct empirical experiences. The paper explains how Hume emphasizes the need for knowledge to be understood in terms of experience rather than emotions. The paper concludes with Hume's belief that much of today's 'knowledge' is strongly associated with socialization and the notions of one's surrounding world rather than factual evidence and experience.
From the Paper:"The Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) proposed that an individual's understanding of the natural world is dependent upon his or her direct empirical experiences, thus suggesting that human beings can only attain knowledge via sensory experience. Ideas, which include those created by the imagination and the memory of previous experience are all created on the basis of sensations which, in turn, are associated with experience. While it may be possible to imagine something that we have not seen, this is simply "the faculty of compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing the materials afforded by the senses and experiences" (Hume, cited by Tierney-Hynes, 2007). In other words, an individual's knowledge of the physical world can only be a generalization determined from particular experiences, thus making his or her 'knowledge' as having a degree of probability rather than being actual truth or real knowledge.
"Hume's work directly challenged the notions of theorists such as Rene Descartes, who hypothesized that the natural world could be understood through non-empirical demonstrative reasoning. Hume, in contrast, argued that any understanding of the general nature of the world must begin by recognizing "how little we can rely on abstract argument, on claims to irrefutable knowledge or on assumptions about causality."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Tierney-Hynes, Rebecca. Article Title: "Hume, Romance and the Unruly Imagination." Journal Title: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Volume: 47. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 2007. Page Number: 641+. COPYRIGHT 2007 Rice University; COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
David Hume's Philosophy of Knowledge (2014, March 26) Retrieved July 13, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/david-hume-philosophy-of-knowledge-153850/
"David Hume's Philosophy of Knowledge" 26 March 2014. Web. 13 July. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/david-hume-philosophy-of-knowledge-153850/>