Hume vs Kant Causality Essay

1777 Words Oct 17th, 1999 8 Pages
Hume vs. Kant: Causality

Hume's ultimate goal in his philosophic endeavors was to undermine abstruse Philosophy. By focusing on the aspect of reason, Hume shows there are limitations to philosophy. Since he did not know the limits, he proposed to use reason to the best of his ability, but when he came to a boundary, that was the limit. He conjectured that we must study reason to find out what is beyond the capability of reason.

Hume began his first examination if the mind by classifying its contents as Perceptions. "Here therefore [he divided] all the perceptions of the mind into two classes or species." (27) First, Impressions represented an image of something that portrayed an immediate relationship. Secondly,
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Lastly, the event must have a necessary connection- we must develop an understanding of why a cause produces a certain effect. Hume's critique of causation is that we cannot see it, we must infer it. For example, two billiard balls, one moving toward the next demonstrate temporal priority because one ball is moving first. Secondly, constant conjunction occurs because the balls exist together spatially and constantly. But, there is no necessary reason why this happens. Hume asserted that we can imagine a world in which the effect would be different. He then concluded that we can't get an impression of a necessary connection, we can only experience constant conjunction and temporal priority. "Experience only teaches us how one event constantly follows another, without instructing us in the secret connection which binds them together." (77) We therefore conclude that reason is a limited faculty and that "we have no reason to trust our common methods of argument or to think that our usual analogies and probabilities have any authority."(83)

In conclusion, Hume asserted that since we do not have any impression of necessary connections, it is our expectation that believes the effect will follow the cause.

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" The appearance of a cause always conveys the mind, by a customary transition, to the idea of the effect." (87) Since we are trained to expect the impression of necessary

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