The Hume you never knew

Here are two quotes from Hume which, if you didn’t know they were from Hume, you would never have guessed they were from him.

“I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause.”

“The same cause always produces the same effect, and the same effect never arises but from the same cause.  This principle we derive from experience, and is the source of most of our philosophical reasoning. For when by any clear experiment we have discovered the causes or effects of any phenomenon, we immediately extend our observation to every phenomenon of the same kind, without waiting for that constant repetition, from which the first idea of this relation is derived.”

~Book I, Part 4, Section xv of the Treatise (“Rules by which to judge of causes and effects” Rule 4.

Thus, Hume clearly not only doesn’t affirm that anything could ‘arise’ (i.e. come to be) without a cause, but also seems to suggest that one experiment, if done under ideal conditions, is sufficient to license the extension of the discerned cause to all other instances without the need for constant experimental repetition/verification.


About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
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