Perception And Memory: The Skepticism Of David Hume

PERCEPTION AND MEMORY: THE SKEPTICISM OF DAVID HUME

The Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), best known for his philosophy of mitigated skepticism which remains today as a viable alternative to the philosophical systems of rationalism, empiricism and idealism, is usually considered as one of the most important figures in Western philosophy. Hume's views on human perception and memory were mainly influenced by the positions of British philosophers John Locke and George Berkeley, both of whom offered distinct differences between reason and sensation. Hume, however, explored and attempted to prove that reason and rational judgments are simply habitual associations of distinct ...

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an internalized subjective representation of that object which one infers to be a physical, objective fact. Yet there are several problems associated with this premise, i.e. whether or not truth is understood as being the conformity between the perceived images and the object and if mental impressions or ideas are reliable indicators of an object's true physicality.
However, Hume was well aware that this kind of skepticism connected with the human senses causes common sense to appear as inconsequential. Hume suggested that such a skeptical position was neither good nor beneficial to the one holding it. Academic skepticism puts forth the idea that a human being can never know the truth or falsity of any given statement. As Hume defines it, "we make inferences (or internal judgments) on the basis of our impressions, whether they be true or false, real or imaginary." Thus, Hume supported and advanced what he referred to as "mitigated skepticism" which in addition to exercising ...

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an external existence governed by the exact laws that exist in the realms of thought. For Hume, this creates three specific types of association-likeness, cause and effect and space and time congruity.
The most interesting example of this argument lies in Hume's analysis of the causal relation, usually referred to as inductive inference. According to Hume, every statement that points beyond what is immediately available to the senses and memory rests on the assumption and/or extension of the cause and effect relation. A popular syllogism explains this as "If A then B must appear and if no A then no B." Therefore, one can infer by inductive inference that a general law ("If A then B") ...

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Added: 10/18/2015 02:56:47 AM
Category: Philosophy
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1705
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