David Hume

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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David Hume In the middle of the eighteenth century a bright, new young English philosopher came onto the scene. David Hume, unlike his predecessors, did not criticize other philosopher's work, but rather he often compared his work to others to see if they shared the same beliefs on certain issues. Hume covered many different issues in his philosophical works, but the ones that I am going to critique are his work on the origin of ideas, probability, and the concept of miracles.

Taking a look at the origin of ideas, according to Hume, every individual in the world understands that the human brain does not see a situation as having one specific insight. An individual can tell the difference between two different aspects of a situation. Hume says that we are able to tell the difference between the perceptions of the mind according to our senses. The only way a person would not be able to tell difference is if they were blind or deaf.

They would not then feel the emotions or understand the different aspects of a situation like a person who has their senses of hearing and sight. The perceptions of the mind can be broken down into two different categories. They are differentiated by their level of force and vivacity; the less being forcible and lively commonly denominated thoughts or ideas. Impressions are just the opposite of thoughts or ideas. They are seen as being different than the usual; the more lively perceptions, the ones that require some kind of passion to them.

The ideas and impressions in a person's mind are brought by the information that one gets from his sense and experiences. Thus, a person's mind cannot possess the ability to have ideas if they do have senses or experiences. A person's senses...