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Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 16.docx

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George Mattey

Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 16 Hume an enquiry concerning Human Understanding • Descartes helped pave the way for mathematical study of nature 1. However, his own physics proved to be untenable • Cartesian philosophy was dominant in France • Nicholas Malebranche broke with Descartes on one key issue 1. Our clear and distinct perceptions are visions of the mind of God. 2. Only God causes change in physical objects. • Baruch Spinoza from the Netherlands 1. There is only one substance, God, and human minds are modes of God’s thought • G.W. Leibniz from Germany rejected much of Descartes 1. Every substance perceives at least to a minimal extent 2. Physical objects are endowed with force besides being extended rd • David Hume 3 major British empiricist • British empiricist claimed that most human knowledge arises from sense perception • Metaphysicians have undertaken to discover the nature of reality. • Goal of Hume’s Enquiry is to set down the limits of human knowledge of reality. • Hume looks for objects of the human mind understanding of which everyone is conscious. • Perceptions are of two kinds: 1. Impressions which are original perceptions 2. Ideas, which are copies of impressions • We can distinguish between the 2 by noting the degree of liveliness or vivacity of the perception. • Hume claims we can understand the meaning of an idea only by tracking it back to an original impression and understand its meaning. • Ideas occur in
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