Essay about Hume on Custom & Habit

775 Words May 19th, 2013 4 Pages
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First Paper Assignment; Hume on Customs and Habits “Custom, then, is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared in the past. Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our

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After building a causal relation between the events, the repeated experiences then induces itself into a custom or habit which we know and live by. The only question left is why should we believe these past experiences will repeat themselves like before. Unfortunately there seems to be no proof that the future will forever replicate the past (Heide). For this Hume provides us with the Principle of Uniformity of Nature. The basic idea is that the future will resemble the past. Astonishingly we, as humans, tend to indubitably accept this principle. If we take an everyday action like waiting for a bus, and applying it to Hume’s principle of Custom or Habit, we can then understand his argument with more ease.
As we wait by a bus stop, we assume that within reasonable time the next bus will roll on by, stop to meet the passengers, and bring us to our destination. This simple task of catching a bus is a perfect example of Hume’s Custom. By custom, transit patrons are to wait for an upcoming bus at a designated stop, rather than to roam around the streets, hoping for a bus to pick us up. We patrons assume that a bus will eventually appear due to our previous experiences with public transit, and the acceptance of the Principle of Uniformity of Nature. In assuming and expecting, we have already made
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