Download Now – On Empiricism and Skepticism: The Philosophy of David Hume

This is an audio recording of the (08/20) meet-up – On Empiricism and Skepticism: The Philosophy of David Hume (special guest – Dr. Louis Loeb).

Three Minute Philosophy – David Hume

In conjunction with our meet-up on August 20th to discuss the philosopher, David Hume, this is the fifth and final post in a series about his philosophy as it relates to empiricism and skepticism.

This short video does a great job of covering a couple of other areas in Hume’s philosophy.  The Problem with Induction is something that may come up in our conversation on Saturday.  It starts at the 2:45 mark.
 

 

David Hume: Impressions and Ideas

Guest Contributor: Gerald Brunell

Published on December 12, 2010

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In conjunction with our meet-up on August 20th to discuss the philosopher, David Hume, this is the fourth post in a series about his philosophy as it relates to empiricism and skepticism.

There is a distinction between two different perceptions made by David Hume. The first is the root of all ideas called an impression. Impressions as described by Hume are, “all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will.”(II 3). Off of these impressions we form our ideas which are, “…less forcible and lively…”(II 3) because all ideas to Hume are just copies of the impression of the first few times we sense something. Ideas must proceed from impressions because, “what never was seen or heard of, may yet be conceived.”(II 4) To do otherwise would be a contradiction to Hume.

[Hume’s] Ideas associate with each other in three ways.

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David Hume On The Flaws Of Religion’s Explanatory Power

In conjunction with our meet-up on August 20th to discuss the philosopher, David Hume, this is the second post in a series about his philosophy as it relates to empiricism and skepticism.

In the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume introduces a skeptic philosopher named Philo who has conversations with other characters that represent competing philosophies in Hume’s era.  Philo challenges the foundational assertions of religion that one can infer about an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, and omnipresent designer and creator of the universe.  From Philo’s arguments, a person can not come to a belief in God based on observational experience in the natural world.

Philo believed that explanatory powers of religion based on experience had several flaws:

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David Hume on the Argument From Design

In conjunction with our meet-up on August 20th to discuss the philosopher, David Hume, this is the first post in a series about his philosophy as it relates to empiricism and skepticism. 

David Hume is considered by many to be the greatest philosopher of the English language.  His writing established the development of empirical philosophy.  He followed and built-upon the work of John Locke, and inspired the works of Immanuel Kant, Bertrand Russell, John Stuart Mill, and many others.

Hume was a prolific writer, and not just of philosophy.  He wrote a six-volume work called The History of England (that took him fifteen years to write), as well as novels and poetry.  His first philosophical work was called A Treatise of Human Nature, which he wrote when he was only 26.  Book 1 of ‘Treatise’ dealt with ideas, Book 2 dealt with emotions, and Book 3 dealt with morals.  This third book was an attempt to utilize a scientific approach to moral reasoning.  And by doing so, his essay rejects the hold that religion had on moral truth.  His most popular philosophical work, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, was published a few years after his death.  This was intentional because of it’s resolute attack on Christian philosophy, that surely would have caused him trouble by the church and legal authorities.

Hume was a staunch critic of Christianity and believed that it should be completely distinct from political, moral, and legal proclamations.  He is credited for making a devastating critique on the Argument from Design (the argument that the universe and natural world have elements of design, thereby providing proof in the existence of an intelligent designer, aka “God”).  Hume argued that this conclusion of God’s existence did not necessarily follow from the premises.

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