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Philosophy Essay Example

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Philosophy. The skepticism of Hume is targeted at traditional superstitions, common wisdom assumptions, and even religious beliefs as these may obscure what is actually real and true by biasing the mind and perception.“NOTHING is more free than the imagination of man; and though it cannot exceed that original stock of ideas furnished by the internal and external senses, it has unlimited power of mixing, compounding, separating, and dividing these ideas, in all the varieties of fiction and vision. It can feign a train of events, with all the appearance of reality, ascribe to them a particular time and place, conceive them as existent, and paint them out to itself with every circumstance, that belongs to any historical fact, which it believes with the greatest certainty.

Wherein, therefore, consists the difference between such a fiction and belief? It lies not merely in any peculiar idea, which is annexed to such a conception as commands our assent, and which is wanting to every known fiction. For as the mind has authority over all its ideas, it could voluntarily annex this particular idea to any fiction, and consequently be able to believe whatever it pleases; contrary to what we find by daily experience.From this Hume argued that logic operated within the greater bias or belief system that the individual subscribed to, taking a legalistic view, and through this could explain the diversity within individuality on a common pattern. Nevertheless, this pessimistic view of human nature posited by Hume in many ways fueled greater skepticism in academic inquiry and English society at large, which evolved through generations of followers to become represented in the modern era as a type of cynicism.From this, Hume establishes a moral weighting of knowledge that values the empirical over the abstract by nature, in that abstract thoughts and ideas are considered “weaker” than empirically derived impressions which are both “strong & vivid.” Despite the fact that Hume cites no documentation or evidence in his works from which this division is derived or articulating on what base it is founded, the sentiment was taken by the greater scientific community as an expression of their common philosophy, rather than rigorously testing it through epistemology to determine whether or not the method of reasoning was valid. Remembering the proto-psychological understanding Hume is introducing into English society through his writing, we see that scientific inquiry into the. Philosophy.

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Works Cited

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1. Hume, David. “An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding,” Harvard Classics Volume 37 (P.F. Collier & Son: 1910), accessed Dec. 7th, 2010, http://18th.eserver.org/hume-enquiry.html.

2. Ibid.

3. Schumacher, E.F. A Guide for the Perplexed, (Great Britain: Jonathon Cape Ltd, 1977) accessed Dec. 5th, 2010, http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/1978-07-01/Spirituality-and-Ecology.aspx?page=4#ixzz17KeiQlOp.

4. Ibid.

5. Schumacher, E.F. The Slenderest Knowledge, Enlighten Next Magazine, 2010. Last accessed Dec. 5th, 2010, http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j11/slenderest.asp.

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preview essay on Philosophy
  • Pages: 11 (2750 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Philosophy
  • Level: Masters
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