Compare and Constrast Essay on Hume

This essay has a total of 764 words and 3 pages.

Hume

Hume's "affirmation" David Hume makes a strong affirmation in section IV of an Enquiry
Concerning Human Understanding. Hume states, "I shall venture to affirm as a general
proposition, which admits of no exception, that the knowledge of this relation is not, in
any instance attained by reasonings a priori; but entirely from experience." In this
statement, when discussing "knowledge of this relation," Hume is referring to the relation
between cause and effect. This argument can easily be dismissed as skeptical, for it puts
all knowledge of this sort in doubt. However, Hume does not hastily doubt that this
knowledge is not a priori, as a skeptic would. Instead Hume offers a sound argument as to
why cause and effect knowledge can not be a priori, and thus his argument is not skeptical
at all. Before Hume commits himself to this affirmation, he establishes several things
first. He explains that all reasonings concerning matter of fact are founded on the
relation of Cause and Effect. In support of this, Hume explains that, if asked, any man
believing in a matter of fact would give as a reason in support of this fact, some other
fact. It is from this that Hume concludes that all reasonings concerning fact are of the
same nature. It is here that one continually assumes that there is a connection between
the current fact and that, which is inferred from it. Furthermore, Hume states where there
nothing to bind them together; the inference would be entirely precarious. Meaning, any
matter of fact is supported only by another matter of fact, and if this connection is
removed, one is left with a fact that is completely dependent. In addition, any fact will
ultimately be dependent on a primary fact, which in turn is founded on cause and effect.
It is only after Hume establishes this that he affirms that knowledge of this relation is
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