Hume's Empiricism

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By alc1958
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Question #1: What does Hume’s empiricism consist of? Hume’s empiricism consists of the theory that all of our thoughts begin, in some form, with our memory of something our senses have directly experienced. He points out “…that there is a considerable distinction between the perceptions of the mind, when a man feels the pain of excessive heat…and when he afterwards recalls to his memory this sensation or anticipates it by his imagination.” (p 388A) Hume breaks down “the perceptions of mind” into two parts: ideas or thoughts and impressions. Impressions are what have been left on our memory after having experienced something through our senses and thoughts are derived from these impressions. He claims that even when we imagine something completely wild and fantastical, that we are just blending our impressions.
. Question #2: How does it compare to Descartes’ rationalism? Both, Hume’s empiricism and Descartes’ rationalism, theories revolve around our ability to think or to have thoughts and ideas different from our reality. They both break the mind’s perceptions into two parts; descartes’ being – “he believes that mental categories are what shape knowledge” the knowledge that we possess in our minds that actually perceive any distinctions about anything through are senses are what Hume would call these Impressions. The wax showed Descartes that even though he can perceive in different ways the same object, the object still exists. And Hume similarly claims that we only know it exists because we have experienced the object in some way already.
Question #3: What’s he mean: ¶ 388B bottom through 389A? “…that all knowledge comes from sense experience and that, therefore, we can have no knowledge of anything beyond our experience.” (Basically, Hume thinks that we aren’t aware of anything in existence that isn’t somehow rooted in what we’ve experienced. We can…...

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