Philosophy 202
Great Traditions of Western Thought
The Modern Period


Discussion Questions for Hume's Enquiry, #1

David Hume is the third empiricist that we will read. Hume is often thought of as a skeptic. We will consider whether this description of his philosophy is accurate or whether there is something more to it.

Hume is a more consistent empiricist than Locke and a more rigorous thinker. His views also seem less idiosyncratic than Berkeley's. I hope that you find reading him compelling, even if troubling.

1. Hume distinguishes ideas from impressions.  What is the basis for this distinction?  What role does it play in his philosophy?

2.  How does Hume use the distinction between ideas and impressions as an empiricist?

3. Hume discusses the idea of power or necessary connection in Section VII of the Enquiry. What is his conclusion about the justification of using this idea? How does he argue for his view?  Is Hume simply a skeptic about the idea of necessary connection?

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