A comparison of david hume and rene descartes on the theory of ideas in philosophy

Descartes vs Hume

Evolutionary diffusion theory holds that cultures are influenced by one another but that similar ideas can be developed in isolation. The general editor of the series is Tom L. After eating well for a time, he went from being "tall, lean and raw-bon'd" to being "sturdy, robust [and] healthful-like".

These were already features of Plato's own theory of knowledgeand so Descartes, with his own Classical education, cannot be excused for perhaps being ignorant of it. Hume was concerned with the way spectators find pleasure in the sorrow and anxiety depicted in a tragedy.

In the Meditations, Descartes also argues that because we are finite, we cannot generate an idea of infinity, yet we have an idea of an infinite God, and thus God must exist to cause us to have that idea.

In the external world, causation simply is the regularity of constant conjunction. Since our knowledge is of abstract, eternal Forms which clearly lie beyond our sensory experience, it is a priori.

With such an arrangement we can say that philosophy functions with Ontological Priority. Hume distinguishes two types of perceptions: There is pleasure in realising that the terrible events that are being shown are actually fiction. Cambridge University Press, Wundt designed the basic mental activity apperception — a unifying function which should be understood as an activity of the will.

We intuit, for example, that the number three is prime and that it is greater than two. But if questions about knowledge must be settled first, then this establishes Epistemological Priority for philosophy.


Here Descartes uses "perfection" instead of Anselm's "greatness. Thinking about an apple allows a person to form complex ideas, which are made of similar parts as the complex impressions they were developed from, but which are also less forceful.

Hume believes that complex perceptions can be broken down into smaller and smaller parts until perceptions are reached that have no parts of their own, and these perceptions are thereby referred to as being simple. Any interpretation of immediate or intuited experience is open to question.

The view that truth in religion is ultimately based on faith rather than on reasoning or evidence—a doctrine known as fideism —was adopted by the late medieval German cardinal and philosopher Nicolaus of Cusa, who advocated learned ignorance as a path to religious knowledge.

To ignore consciousness, as happens in Behaviorism, or to dismiss consciousness as something that is merely a transient state of the material brain, is a kind of reductionism -- i.

Many aspects of his empirical physiological psychology are used today. The Irish radical empiricist and bishop George Berkeley — developed another monistic metaphysical system.

It really would not be until our own time that some understanding would begin to emerge of the interaction and interdependency between theory and observation, mathematics and experience in modern science. They still need to show how their explanation supports an account of the difference between innate knowledge and a posteriori knowledge.

Rationalism vs. Empiricism

Once we notice that idea, then life, the universe, and everything falls into place. Unfortunately, such a remedy is impossible, so the definitions, while as precise as they can be, still leave us wanting something further.

Despite that Descartes is usually credited with the invention of the non-Platonic use of the term, he at first followed this vernacular use.

David Hume: Causation

This is an important but technical explication and defense of the Humean causal reductionist position, both as a historical reading and as a contemporary approach to causation. Although Hume does the best that can be expected on the subject, he is dissatisfied, but this dissatisfaction is inevitable.

Anselmdecided that all we needed to prove the existence of God was the proper definition of God.


Thus what we possess, our perceptions, are the effects of external causes; and in thinking that we know external objects, we are reasoning backwards from effect to cause.

As was common at his time, he became a merchant's assistant, but he had to leave his native Scotland. Yet, we do know some theorems.

Or sometimes we can only do this with difficulty, and sometimes we forget things altogether. Strictly speaking, for Hume, our only external impression of causation is a mere constant conjunction of phenomena, that B always follows A, and Hume sometimes seems to imply that this is all that causation amounts to.

Causal Skepticism One way to interpret the reasoning behind assigning Hume the position of causal skepticism is by assigning similar import to the passages emphasized by the reductionists, but interpreting the claims epistemically rather than ontologically. If, as is often the case, we take definitions to represent the necessary and sufficient conditions of the definiendum, then both the definitions are reductive notions of causation.

The strength of this argument varies with its examples of purported knowledge. There is no middle ground. Beliefs cannot be justified. Medieval Period The Middle Ages saw a gradual convergence of philosophical and theological concerns. The great thinkers of this age were theologians first and philosophers second.

David Hume: Causation. David Hume () is one of the British Empiricists of the Early Modern period, along with John Locke and George holidaysanantonio.comgh the three advocate similar empirical standards for knowledge, that is, that there are no innate ideas and that all knowledge comes from experience, Hume is known for applying this standard rigorously to causation and necessity.

Hume, on the other had, believed ideas came only from one thing, impressions. Both theories have their strengths and weaknesses but I like Hume's theory better than Descartes.

Descartes believed imagination could not help humans. Descartes' definition of ideas was, only things which exist in the mind and represent other things are called ideas. A Comparison of David Hume and Rene Descartes on the Theory of Ideas in Philosophy PAGES 3. WORDS View Full Essay. More essays like this: rene descartes, david hume, origination of ideas, theory of ideas.

Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. David Hume (/ h juː m /; born David Home; 7 May NS (26 April OS) – 25 August ) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism.

Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and. Cartesianism: Cartesianism, the philosophical and scientific traditions derived from the writings of the French philosopher René Descartes (–). Metaphysically and epistemologically, Cartesianism is a species of rationalism, because Cartesians hold that .

A comparison of david hume and rene descartes on the theory of ideas in philosophy
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Idea - Wikipedia