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Salt Lake Community College Intro to Philosophy Professor Izrailevsky Monica Layton Paper on David Hume !" !1

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#Hume is our Politics$ Hume is our %rade$ Hume is our Philosophy$ Hume is our &eligion'( ) *ames Hutchison Stirling
David Hume +as ,orn in Scotland and +as raised ,y his +ido+ed mother' His father died a year after his ,irth and left him a small income' He +as raised under a strict Pres,yterian regimen and attended three)hour morning services and +ould return for another service for an hour in the afternoon' He -oined in family prayers every evening' .Soccio, Douglas J/

He enrolled in the 0niversity of 1din,urgh at the age of t+elve$ ,ut later dropped out +ithout a degree to devote himself to philosophy and literature admitting that he had lost any faith he had during his childhood' 2fter reading Locke and other philosophers he never #entertained any ,elief in religion(' .Soccio, Douglas J/

He tried a living as a +riter' His ,ook$ %reatise of Human 3ature$ had t+o editions' It makes compelling arguments against materialism$ the possi,ility of a spiritual$ supernatural reality and personal immortality' He argued that neither matter nor mind e4ists' He received fifty pounds and t+elve copies as his total payment of the first edition' %he second edition +as not pu,lished until after his death' His life as a +riter +as unsuccessful$ so he applied for a professorship at the 0niversity of 1din,urgh ,ut +as re-ected' So he took on the -o, of a tutor$ tutoring a no,leman' .Soccio, Douglas J/

Hume +as also important as a historian' He +rote a ,ook called History of 1ngland and it appeared in four installments ,et+een 156 and 157"' It covers the periods of 8ritish history from most ancient times through the seventeenth)century' 19th and 1:th century readers considered him a philosophical historian that had the a,ility to look into the minds of historical people and uncover the motive and reasonings ,ehind their actions .Fieser, James/'

Layton ; H0M1<S 1PIS%1M=L=>?

Hume +as a skeptic and a self)proclaimed agnostic' He couldn<t accept or deny the e4istence of >od' =ther philosophers ,elieve that >od puts inside of us the kno+ledge +e have at ,irth$ ,ut Hume ,elieves +e teach ourselves' He ,elieves +e start out +ith an empty mind$ a ,lank slate and +e learn everything as +e gro+ up' %his ,elief is called %a,ula &asa' His philosophy also includes empiricism$ meaning all kno+ledge originates through our e4perience' He developed a empirical test of meaning@

In simple terms$ he<s saying that if you cannot reduce a ,elief to an e4perience they are not ideas$ they are #meaningless utterances(' #Ahen +e entertain$ therefore$ any suspicion that a philosophical term is employed +ithout any meaning or idea .as is a ,it too freBuent/$ +e need to enBuire$ from +hat impression is that supposed idea derivedC 2nd if it ,e impossi,le to assign any$ this +ill serve to confirm our suspicion' 8y ,ringing ideas arise$ concerning their and reality()David Hume

David Hume developed a structure of kno+ledge' %he structure of kno+ledge says +e sense data$ and put it into a generalization and then turn it into an idea' Ae then verify it' 1very a,stract idea has to ,e ,acked up ,y sensual data .evidence/' 2ll statements can then ,e divided into true$ false$ or meaningless' Hume says the idea of >od$ the 0niverse and the self are meaningless'


Layton Moral sentimentalism ) Moral is ,ased not upon reason ,ut upon emotions$ feelings and sentiment' Moral relavitism ) 2s many people as many morals' Moral situationalism ) Morality is al+ays situational' Moral pragmatism ) Morality has to ,e helpful and useful' It has to help ?=0 ,e happy' Moral hedonism ) %he essence of morality is my happiness' Moral altruism ) Help your neigh,or' 2nd they shall help you in return'

Ahen it comes to free +ill and determinism D or li,erty and necessity$ Hume defends necessity' He argues that #all actions of the +ill have particular causes( .%reatise$ "';'"'9/$ and there is no such thing as an uncaused +illful action' He then goes to defend the notion of +ill that al+ays responds to prior motivational causes@ #our actions have a constant union +ith our motives$ tempers$ and circumstances( .%reatise$ "';'1' / It<s the same sort of notion that comes from pool ,all 2 moves and strikes pool ,all 8' It produces the same actions that have the same casual cause)effect relationship' 2nd finally$ in his novel$ he e4plains +hy people ,elieve in an uncaused +ill' =ne e4planation is that +e feel a kind of indifference in the +ay the actions +e perform come out$ and some people see this as #an intuitive proof of human li,erty(.%reatise$ "';'"'"/ 2lso in this novel$ he re-ects the idea of li,erty completely'

Ahat really intrigues me a,out David Hume is his skepticism' I$ too$ have al+ays considered myself a skeptic' I<ve never understood ho+ there could ,e an overruling #>od( that looks do+n on us and takes care of each and every one of our needs' I<ve never understood ho+

Layton 6 there could ,e one person that +as made up one day and then created the rest of the +orld' 3o one has ever ,een a,le to sho+ me that needed evidence to prove His e4istence' I agree +ith Hume the most on this$ that +e need physical evidence for somethings e4istence' I kno+ several people that are LDS and +e have had several heated arguments a,out >od<s e4istence$ and no one could give me physical proof that he e4ists'

Hume also composed Dialogues Concerning 3atural &eligion$ +hich came out in print after his death' %here are three principal characters in the Dialogues' %here is Cleanthes$ +ho espouses religious empiricism$ defends the design argument for >od<s e4istence$ ,ut re-ects the casual argument' %hen there<s Demea$ +ho is a religious rationalist$ defends the casual argument for >od<s e4istence$ ,ut re-ects the design argument' 2nd then there<s Philo$ +ho is a religious skeptic$ argues against ,oth the design and casual arguments' .Fieser, James).

Hume discusses his vie+ on #miracles( in his essay #=f Miracles( from the 1nBuiry' It +as his first sustained attack on religion' Hume is most famous for his argument@ uniform e4perience of natural la+ out+eighs the testimony of any alleged miracle' Meaning$ our e4perience of consistent la+s of nature al+ays out+eighs the strongest evidence supporting an occurrence of a miracle'

He +rites@

2ccording to Hume$ there are four factors that count against the credi,ility of most miracle testimonies' 1/ +itnesses of miracles typically lack integrityE "/ +e are naturally inclined

Layton 7 to en-oy sensational stories$ and this has us uncritically perpetuate miracle accountsE ;/ miracle It is e4perience only$ +hich gives authority to human testimony Fregarding miraclesGE and it is the same e4perience$ +hich assures us of the la+s of nature' Ahen$ therefore$ these t+o kinds of e4perience are contrary$ +e have nothing to do ,ut su,tract the one from the other$ and em,race an opinion$ either on one side or the other$ +ith that assurance +hich arises from the remainder' 8ut according to the principle here e4plained$ this su,traction$ +ith regard to all popular religions$ amounts to an entire annihilation F1nBuiry$ 1H'1G' testimonies occur often less in less civilized countriesE and / miracles support rival religious systems and thus discredit each other' .Fieser, James/'

I do not understand a lot of the philosophers$ and I still don<t fully understand David Hume$ ,ut I do understand him the most out of all' 2nd he intrigues me the most$ and I am currently in the process of learning more a,out him and doing more intensive research on him$ and reading his +ork' I relate to David Hume a lot through his moral philosophy$ skepticism$ and arguments of >od<s e4istence'

Layton 5 A=&IS CI%1D@

Fieser, James. "David Hume." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. ed. . WEB.

Hume, David. An enquiry concerning human understanding. Raleigh, N.C.: Alex Catalogue, 199. Print. Hume, David, and L. A. Bigge. A treatise of human nature. 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press ;, 1978. Print. Soccio, Douglas J.. "David Hume." Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, 7th Ed. 7th ed. : , 2010. . Print.