Hume’s empiricist epistemology essay example

David Hume is one of the philosophers who looked at the relationship of things as they are in the human world. His ideas were well explained through a philosophical argument. There are some tenets of his argument. Some of these tenets lie in the contents of impressions and ideas. According to Murphy (Para 5), Hume argued that the contents of the mind can be divided into impressions and ideas. The impressions are such things as passions, emotions and sensations. On the other hand, ideas are the faint images of these impressions in reflection, thought, and imagination.
Given this explanation, there is something that comes to mind in relation to the two. First of all, it is very clear that impressions are the foundation of any human experience. In other words, they are the purest forms of human experience. On the other hand, ideas are the manifestations of the impressions. The connection is that the ideas are the ways through which individuals bring out their basal impressions.
Based on these issues, Hume argued that no ideas should be taken for granted. He also argued that all forms of communication must be based on reason. On this issue, he argued that there were two kinds of reasoning that can be employed. One kind of reasoning is the demonstrative reasoning (Murphy Par 7). This is also what is known as the deductive reasoning. However, he observed that this kind of reasoning cannot help in establishing the uniformity of nature. This is mainly the non-uniformity in nature, which can also be termed as the chaos in nature is conceivable. Since non-uniformity cannot be derived, there I no way through which it can be deduced from reasoning. The second kind of reasoning the Hume looked at is the probable reasoning. This is also refereed to as the causal reasoning where an individual looks at the known to perceive what is unknown. This is the kind of reasoning that can be applied in looking at the uniformity in nature. It is simply a kind of thinking which tries to look at the unknown by relating it to what is unknown.
The three types of association are also another main tenet of Hume’s argument. In what is known as the law of association of ideas, Hume argued that there is a correlation that exists between complex ideas. One of the three kinds of association has to do with likeness. According to Philosophy Forums (Para 3), this is a situation where two things seem to be similar. That is, they can have similar characteristics or something which makes them to be associated with each other. The second kind of association is the contiguity in time and space. This is where two distinct entities tend to occupy the same position in time and space, even if the two might be different. This implies that they have something in common; something that makes an observer realize that there is something that can be related to both. The last kind of association is the cause and effect. This argument is related to causality function. Hum’s argument on this was that for every single occurrence, there must be the repercussions. As such, the idea and the end product are associated in that they are dependent on each other; one is a result of the other. Unless the cause is known, then individuals can keep grappling with the end result without knowing where it came from. Knowledge of the cause effect association can help to explain these two.
There are other ideas that were propagated by Hume as well. One of them was the idea of the self. According to Philosophy Pages (Para 7), Hume argued that we do not understand the idea of the “ self.” Rather, what individuals associate with the self are associated with the results of the human habits attributing continued existence to a collection of associated parts. As such, in as much as individuals tend to associate their own inner feelings and issues, they do not actually have the knowledge of who they are. The perception of the self comes from the succession of individual and separate ideas, which are related to each other through the relations of causality and resemblance.
Closely associated with this issue is the aspect of causality. As observed earlier, Hume argued about the cause and effect relationship. As such, it implies that there is the cause. The issue of causality comes about due to the argument that people have an understanding of various things. However, there is a need to know why and where these ideas came from. This is what brings about the idea of causality. He argued that for everything that exists and for every idea that is there, there must be a reason behind it. This is the issue of causality. In a nutshell, it can be said that Hume looked at the empiricism in a manner that raised awareness in the manner in which people look at the simple ideas. They might not be as simple as they look after all.

Works Cited

Murphy, Keith. “ David Hume.” Keithmurphy. info, 2012. Web. 13th Dec. 2012,
Philosophy pages. “ Hume: Empiricist Naturalism.” Philosophy pages. com, 2012. Web. 13th Dec. 2012,
Philosophy Forums. “ Hume’s Association of Ideas.” Philosophy forums. com, 2012. Web. 13th Dec. 2012,