Who is David Hume?

Who is David Hume?

June 25, 2021 Off By Felso

David Hume KimDavid Hume, (26 April 1711 – died 25 August 1776). Scottish philosopher, economist and historian.

He is an English empiricist philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge acquired independently of experience, emphasizing that there is no valid ground for rationalist ontological assumptions.

Hume, who is known not only for being the most rigorous critic of the understanding of “causality” in the field of philosophy, or for the doctrine of “sympathy” on which he bases his moral philosophy, but also for pioneering modern historiography in the field of history, and for his original thoughts that are not comparable to his contemporary, famous economist Adam Smith in the field of economics He is a versatile thinker.

Hume collected his views on the fields of existentialism, epistemology and moral philosophy in his three main works: “A Treatise of Human Nature (A Treatise on Human Nature, 1739-1740)”; “An Enguiry Concerning Human Understanding (An Inquiry into Human Understanding, 1748)”; “An Inquiry Conarning the Principles of Morals, (1751)”.

The first book, <b>”A Treatise of Human Nature”</b></b> both contains the essence of Hume’s entire philosophy, and it also pertains to Hume in almost every stage of his life, especially in its academic dimension. It is also a work worth mentioning with its unique destiny because it causes trouble. Hume, who wrote the first three parts of the book in the library of the Royal College of La Fleche, where Descartes also studied during his stay in France (1734-1737), returned to England and completed the book, and after a long struggle he managed to get it published (1739-1740). ).

However, the book was accused of being irreligious by many, let alone attracting attention from the philosophical circles of the period. Although Hume subsequently denied the existence of this book and did not include it in his collective works, the negative consequences of this “accusation of irreligion” greatly changed the course of Hume’s life. As a matter of fact, applications to be appointed to the Chair of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University in 1744 and to the Chair of Logic at Glasgow University in 1752 were always rejected on the grounds of this “accusation of irreligion”.

Hume later published a book entitled “Moral and Polirical (Essays on Morals and Politics, 1741-1742)”</b>. Although Hume’s search for “return of dignity” yielded some results, Hume, who was rejected by Edinburgh University in 1744, had to leave the land of his birth for a while, albeit for “a bread”. Of course, Hume had to reject A Treatise on Human Nature itself for political reasons, but he remained faithful to many of the ideas advocated by this book, which formed the core of his philosophy, and used them in his new books.

As a matter of fact, of the books mentioned above as “three fundamental works”, the second one is An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and the third one is “An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morality” and “An Inquiry Concerning Human Nature” (that is, the first and third chapters of the first basic work have been processed and expanded. In the final analysis, A Treatise on Human Nature is Hume’s masterpiece in which he systematically presents whatever he understands from philosophy. is to arrive at the “philosophy”.

When it comes to Hume’s unique empiricism, according to Hume, we form impressions about the things we experience and our mind transforms these impressions into thoughts/concepts (ideas). In this way the content of the mind consists of impressions and thoughts/concepts. These two differ from each other in terms of vitality. Impressions are more vivid and emerge during the sense experience. What remains after sense experience is thought/concept. In a way, thoughts/concepts are copies of our impressions. Hume divides ideas/concepts into two as simple and complex.

The complex ones are formed by the combination of the simple ones, and in this way, it can be found how the simple thoughts/concepts of each thought/concept emerge from the impressions we have.

Hume put this forward as a hypothesis and did not provide any proof that a counterexample could not be given, such as the existence of a thought/concept independent of our impressions. Hume’s making the impression a necessary condition for the existence of any thought/concept results in the fact that the abstract objects (things; entities), such as universals, which rationalist philosophers accept to exist independently of the mind, are completely dependent on the mind in his philosophy.

According to Hume, a universal, for example, the thought/concept of “good” is the name of the sum of the thoughts/concepts that our mind creates as a result of our impressions about the things we consider good.