An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
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One of the greatest works of philosophy, David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding delves into matters of epistemology, or how we come to know the things that we know. A rigorous empiricist thinker, Hume applies rational scientific methodologies to the abstract realm of philosophy, using careful observation and inference from particular instances to derive general principles about how we know things. As a major figure in the Enlightenment, Hume is less concerned with metaphysical issues such as the nature of God or the soul, and is more interested in the thought processes of mankind. Focusing not on how things actually are but how we perceive them to be, he explores the relationship between ideas and impressions and matters of fact and ideas. Matters of fact are based on sensory experience: you know that the sun is shining, that the sky is blue, or that you are going on a walk. Ideas, on the other hand, are not based in experience but are nonetheless true; the statement that “all widows have been married” is logically correct. Drawing clever distinctions and proving his theories, Hume’s revolutionary text will make you question your own beliefs and thought processes, and how you came to hold them.
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AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING.
Extracted from: Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding, and Concerning the Principles of Morals, By David Hume.
Reprinted from The Posthumous Edition of 1777, and Edited with Introduction, Comparative Tables of Contents, and Analytical Index by L.A. ...