SOC314H1 Lecture Notes - Inductive Reasoning, Sparknotes, Deductive Reasoning

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15 Apr 2012
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Hume Sparknotes
Overall Summary:
- Distinguishes between impressions and ideas
o All knowledge comes from impressions, and so ideas are secondary to
impressions
Everything in our mind is based ultimately upon simple
impressions
- Impressions
o Sensory impressions, emotions, other vivid mental phenomena
o Vivid and clearly defined
o Objections: there is some level of vagueness in our impressions that Hume
doesn’t acknowledge
Often have trouble distinguishing tastes
Difficult to tell the difference between 56” stick and 57” stick
- Ideas
o Thoughts or beliefs or memories related to impressions
o Less lively and vivid
- We build up ideas from simple impressions by means of three laws of
association:
o Resemblance
o Contiguity (contact or proximity)
o Cause and effect
The thought of a wound makes us think of the pain that follows
from it)
- Distinguishes between relations of ideas and matter of fact
- Relations of ideas
o Mathematical truths
o Denial of them would result in a contradiction
- Matters of fact
o More common truths we learn from experience
o Denying a matter of fact is not contradictory
o For the most part we understand matters of fact according to cause and
effect
Direct impression leads to inference about some unobserved cause
- Hume says we can’t justify these casual inferences
- We cannot justify future predictions from past experience without some
principle that dictates that the future will always resemble the past
- We have no rational justification for believing in cause and effect
- Hume says habit, not reason, enforces a perception of necessary connection
between events
o When we see two things constantly conjoined our imagination infers a
necessary connection between them even if there’s no rational grounds for
doing so
- Our inferences regarding matters of fact are based on probably
o How many times two events conjoined is experienced
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