nowadays no longer know how to wonder. They easily get bored because their lives have falleninto a very dry routine.During his time, Hume must have been disappointed at the loss of the sense of wonder inthe great majority of people.
This is very much implicit in his point why we should first have tostop and investigate our ideas before jumping into conclusions.So for Hume, there is so much that we can learn again from small children. Smallchildren, without the habit of seeing things ordinarily and with their lack of experience in life,always approach things with wonder.To imitate the ways of small children, to be a child once again, to restore that sense of wonder in us is not only philosophically wise, but also spiritually commendable. One can evenread in the Bible a passage wherein Jesus encouraged His disciples to become like little childrenif they want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.In the previous century, a young Carmelite nun from Lisieux in France became instantlyfamous after her death when her autobiography was published. She is Saint Therese of the ChildJesus and her
Story of a Soul
depicts her teachings on the importance of spiritual childhood. Thusshe is worthy of mention because her idea that children are to be always imitated resonates withHume’s.In the last analysis, Hume’s epistemology teaches us not to add anything to the alreadycomplex ideas that we have that do not anymore correspond to reality. In his insistence tosimplify our complex ideas, Hume is also telling us to make our lives less complicated and livesimply.In the end, Hume’s epistemology also counsels us to be open-minded, especially withregard to the change in ourselves. The most difficult change to accept is almost always that
2Hume’s biographers declared that when he published his first philosophical book,
ATreatise of Human Nature,
he lamented at its very poor reception by the public.