David Hume's Influence On Philosophy

Throughout the history of philosophy and the search for wisdom in life there are moments where reasoning leads the self to a path that one cannot fully give oneself to. Here is, in a sense, the crux of an internal existential conflict. In these times people typically would choose between two equally difficult decisions, either to side with pure reason and have that solely guide oneself through life, even if it means that one no longer believes that anything else in existence truly exists without doubt or even that one is completely alone. Or, one can choose to suspend or ignore one’s reasoning in favor of accepting one’s place as a person among persons with free will and reality both out of mind. While it seems as if these are simply the two …show more content…
Much of his influence on philosophy is that what we view as causal relation is in the mind, not in the related things themselves, and furthermore that since the causal relation people view is based upon perception and perception can be flawed, causality is flawed (Butler, 177-178). His idea of rational skepticism goes about to the point of solipsism where, since everything one encounters in life is through the senses which can be fooled, anything encountered cannot be known to truly exist. As such, the only thing in one’s reality that is not encountered is the self, thus it is the only thing one can truly know to exist. As Hume himself wrote “We may, therefore, conclude with certainty, that the opinion of a continued and of a distinct existence never arises from the senses” (Treatise, 1.4.2.11). This metaphysics, or even this filter through which one approaches life is purely philosophical, based on rationality and logic. Thus, it is one side of the proverbial …show more content…
In a way, this scrutiny for consequences is similar to the ethical theory of John Rawls and is ideas on the Original Position, in that one must determine the consequences of being correct or incorrect about one’s assumptions. The idea contained here is not to hamper philosophical progress by chaining down everything to everyday life, quite the contrary. The idea is to provide a logical basis and reasoning for philosophers, especially those with particularly abstract ideas, to have a reason to exist in everyday life whilst furthering their own research and contemplations. Without such a justification, all of the times that philosophers or their ideas have been condemned as either impractical or condemned for not being followed by the philosopher themselves (such as Hume’s position) have due recourse. It does not change the falsity or truthness of the philosophical ideas or concepts, and instead provides a way for them to be furthered without hampering the philosopher themselves or anyone else on reasons of practicality. This is similar to the theoretical idea that the universe and all reality is holographic, or inside a computer system or any other abstract metaphysics which negate the search for the purpose of life or

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