David Hume 's Principles Of Uniformity Of Nature Essay

David Hume 's Principles Of Uniformity Of Nature Essay

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Scottish philosopher David Hume is amongst one of the most influential empirical philosophers to date for his work in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. As an Empiricist Hume claimed that the only way we can obtain knowledge is through our senses however he argues true knowledge is unattainable for all intent and purpose, due to the problem of induction.By briefly examining Hume 's problem of induction and it 's dependancy to of the so called principles of Uniformity of Nature we could come to a conclusion that Hume 's is correct. In this paper I would like to argue in accordance to Hume 's statement that we cannot have access to true knowledge. By reviewing the definitions of induction, deduction, and the principles of uniformity of nature and examining the possible problems they inflict on the idea of knowledge, we will come to agreement with Hume 's that the idea of knowledge does not simply exist.

“David Hume states that it is obvious that a man who is blind all his life can have no idea of colour, or a deaf person of sound” (quote). This is because they lack the sense of which the idea derives from. If senses of a blind or a deaf man are restored, the person can form ideas which he could not before. Therefore it 's impossible to have an idea of something without having the senses needed to acquire it. David Hume had stated that the senses that we have as beings are tools that allow us to observe and make sense of surroundings, without them we could not form any ideas in our minds. Hume, who was a strong believer of empiricism had said that there could only be two ways we can obtain knowledge through the senses and that 's by using inductive and deductive reasoning.

Induction, as Hume puts it, is whe...


... middle of paper ...


...ery clear. Hume argues that we can conceive of nature radically changing in the future so that everything that we have observed no longer holds.(2)(treatise, 1.3.6.5)This is not something we expect to happen but the fact that we can see no contradiction it shows that it cannot be deductively ruled out. If in an argument we say that we have observed nature to be uniform in the past and that we have observed it to be uniform in the past to future, we can agree that nature is uniform in the future like the past. However this does not work, regardless the number of observations it is impossible to claim it is “more probable”, since this still requires the assumption that the past, predicts the future. And if we add the premise that in the future nature will be uniform like the past then we are contradicting ourselves and creating what 's known a circular argument.





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