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Distinguished eighteenth century empiricist philosophers - Essay Example

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In the study, the researcher has discussed about the distinguished eighteenth century Scottish empiricist philosopher David Hume that has elucidated his profound thoughtfulness about various subjects related to source of knowledge, causation theory and others…
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Distinguished eighteenth century empiricist philosophers
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Download file to see previous pages The author has rightly presented that one of the most imperative of his doctrines includes the refutation of the (mis)conception that occurrence of two events or incidents contains some cause, which results into the happening of these incidents, as the effect of some cause that gives way to that the happening of the events. Hume, on the other hand, argues that since the magnitude as well as association between the cause and effect cannot be measured or estimated altogether, it would also be impossible to assert that happening of two events is the outcome of some cause. Thus, he does not perceive any cause in the occurrence of different events. Being a skeptic, Hume refuses to submit to the traditional notion about causation theory altogether subsequently. Nevertheless, it does not mean that Hume does not maintain any belief in causation; on the contrary, causation certainly exists, though it is unknowable; consequently, forming of complex ideas and different kinds of knowledge look for either previous experience or analysis of the knowledge gathered or ascribed through any way. Here, the skeptic philosopher alludes to priori and posteriori knowledge, where the former is attained through experience, while the latter is abstract or intellectual one i.e. related to various disciplines like astronomy, science, mathematics and others. The philosopher cites examples of substances and abstract ideas in order to explain their development procedure and relationship with one another. Since Hume belongs to empiricist school of philosophical thought, he does not find the existence of any innate knowledge in humans. Contrarily, he divides the attainment of the same either through experience or through the application of senses while entering into interaction with the natural or social phenomena. Consequently, the individuals perceive the things in the light of either senses or experiences (539). Like Locke and Berkeley, Hume also declares application of senses as an unreliable source of perceiving the objects and phenomena, he views knowledge gained through the senses as inferior to the one that has been obtained out of experiences. However, both these ways may create errors and problems in respect of communicating the flow of information, and thus providing humans with appropriate knowledge as well. As a result, Hume suggests two different ways for getting knowledge and development of ideas in an apposite manner. Hume calls the ideas as spontaneous ones, which are permuted through imagination in order to change them into more complex form. Since the individuals do not have any experience about these complex ideas, which are actually the product of imagination, these developed ideas are unable to provide a clear concept of the objects related to the ideas (544). As a result, human creative power witnesses bar in respect of its extension, and hence turn out to be limited and narrower in the real sense. Complex ideas, in his eyes, are actually the product of simple ideas, which could be stated as the dismal reflection of the simple impressions from which they are ultimately derived, to which they correspond and exactly resemble. In order to develop complex ideas on the basis of accuracy and true knowledge, by going through the process of composing simple ideas to change them into the complex ones, there must be the inclusion of experience, so that a mature and perfect picture of the situation could be drawn out of these simple and complex ideas. Since ideas are far less forceful than impressions, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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