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David Hume Life and Background David Hume was born in 1771, in Edinburg Scotland.

He had an interest in philosophy and literature during his adolescent years. He studied law, but eventually gave up. He also tried a commercial career, but quit afterwards. In 1734-1737, he lived in Le Fleche in Anjou. In 1739-1740, he published the three volumes of The Treatise. In 1745, he applied for professorship at Edinburgh University but was unsuccessful. Instead, he became a private tutor to the young Marquis of Annandale. In 1747, he accompanied General St. Clair, a distant cousin, on diplomatic missions to Vienna and Turin. In 1751, he became a librarian to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh. In 1763, he became secretary to the British Embassy in Paris. In 1767-1769, he became undersecretary for the northern department in the administration of Duke Grafton. He died in 1776.

Works and Contributions Treatise of Human Nature 1) of Understanding 2) of the Passions 3) of the Morals Enquiries concerning Human Understanding and concerning the Principles of Morals Dialogues concerning Natural Religion Because of Humes strong standpoint on morality, this has been the foundation of some thoughts on economic development. He believed in unequal distribution of property, since perfect equality would destroy the ideas of thrift and industry. His works contributed to Kants dogmatic slumber.

Knowledge All knowledge that extends beyond the immediate deliveries of the senses depends upon the notion of cause and effect. It is in this way that we will realize what happened in the past and conjecture what will happen in the future. Reason is limited and imperfect. Knowledge will hinder a person to believe. Therefore, one will either be a skeptic or a non-believer. Theory of knowledge: perceptions are the content of consciousness. 1) Two classes: Impressions and Ideas. a) Ideas are feeble copies of our experience. Association of Ideas: resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect. Reason is wholly inactive and can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience or a sense of morals.

Ethics Passions can lean towards good or evil. They are special kind of impressions. Morality is natural to our species. The purpose of morality is to inspire and guide. Reason is impotent. Passion still overcomes reason.

In a moral dilemma, one may not know what is true but he knows what he ought to do. Sources of moral rules: 1) Social utility 2) Sympathy

God He is not an atheist but more of an agnostic. Philosophy of Religion is a search for something that we cannot find. For Hume, all the standard arguments for the existence of God failed. Even if there is a notion of a first cause, it will be different from a theists understanding. God planted the moral sense in us to point us to the direction of moral purity and universal happiness. It is enough to believe that the cause is greater than the effect, not vice versa. Reason provides a dim light in understanding the world, and the world in relation to the maker. The burden of proof on Gods existence lies on the believer (through his experience).

Critique His philosophy was bound to empiricism. Contrary to Hume, reason is powerful than passions. Perhaps the reason why Hume thought that reason is impotent is that passions can sometimes overcome it. But, on the other hand, isnt it that a wellinformed and formed reason can also surpass passions? Reason also has its limitations. Reason itself cannot fully contain the being of God. Thus, we need not exhaust reasoning but move to something higher, faith. Philosophy cannot explain everything about God. Perhaps the philosophy can challenge God. Nonetheless, God still has to be accepted in the spirit of faith.