Who Is David Hume Persuasive Essay

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For Hume, the idea of “reason” refers to inductive reasoning, or the ability to make associations between different things, and to recognize cause and effect. He argues that animals learn things two ways: from observation, and from instinct (Hume, pg. 71,72). Both of his ideas are persuasive, especially when looking at the behavior of chimpanzees and their use of tools. However, his argument that animals learn based on experience or observation is slightly more persuasive than his argument that animals are ruled by custom or instinct.

One argument of Hume’s is that animals learn things based on experiences of cause and effect. He expands on this by giving an example of a horse not attempting to jump higher than it knows it can from past experience (Hume, pg. 68). This account of the reason of animals is persuasive because it can be seen as true
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Hume does not address every aspect of how animals might have reason, but the two points he does make are both convincing. His first point – that animals learn based on experience – is especially convincing because it is something that can be seen in daily life, like when I see my dog repeatedly lift his paw in an attempt to get a treat. Hume’s second argument – that animals are ruled by custom or instinct – is less persuasive than his previous point, but is still applicable, as seen by the various groups of chimpanzees all utilizing various objects as tools, without seeming to have been taught to do so. The reason Hume’s second argument is less persuasive than the first, is that the second argument does not seem like it can be proved independent of the first argument – using the chimpanzee example, it is impossible to know whether a chimpanzee is using tools due to instinct, or is using tools because it had seen other chimpanzees using tools

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