PHL100Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 28: Contiguity

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10 Aug 2016
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Empiricist attack on "nonsense": if you cannot fins the empirical source of an idea then
the idea is nonsense
When is a term meaningful?
(P) what does not derive from sense is sense-less
This is the empiricist version of the principle that any meaningful assentation must deny
something
oWell see that has momentous consequences
The association of ideas, section 3
According to Hume's 'Newtonian principle, ideas succeed each other if related in any of
the following 3 ways:
oResemblance (a picture leads out thoughts to the original
oContiguity (ex. If you think of 2, you may think of 1 or 3, which are both naturally
side by side
oCause and effect (if we think of the wound we scarcely forbear reflecting on the
pain
This subsumes contrast or contrariety
Sceptical doubts concerning the operations of understanding part 4
'all the objects of human reason or enquiry may naturally be divided into two kinds:
Relations of ideas: known simply in virtue of the knowledge of the terms you're using.
Ex. Math, no dependence on anything that actually exists.
Matters of fact: 'the contrary of every matter of fact is still possible because it can never
imply a contradiction, and is conceived by the mind with the same facility and distinctness,
as if ever so conformable to reality' thigs that we need observation in order to affirm our
beliefs about it
Relations of ideas
Examples:
oMathematical theorems
oA bachelor is an unmarried man, so the bachelor is married is a contradiction
oBecause its part of our understanding of the word's meaning
Would this have helped I the discussion Descartes to god?
Is a non-existent god a contradiction?
Hume: no denial of a matter of fact is ever a contradiction
So if god's existence is a fact, its denial cant be a contradiction
Recall our discussion of possibility:
oP is contingent=possible=p is true in some possible world
oP is necessary if true in all possible worlds
oP is impossible if true in no possible world
All and only relations of ideas are necessary/impossible
Contrast a matter of fact
A single woman is a happy woman (FACT)
But t
This single woman is not happy
Is no contradiction
Why?
Not by thinking about the meanings
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