From Origins of Ideas to Ideas of Origins: Causality Psychologized

Wayne Waxman

in Kant and the Empiricists

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177398
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786176 | DOI:
 From Origins of Ideas to Ideas of Origins: Causality Psychologized

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This chapter discusses how Hume’s revolutionary associationist theory of ideas overcame deficiencies and transformed the question of origins itself. Hume believes that association, imagination, and objective understanding are one and the same; as soon as we withdraw the lens of association in and through which the microcosmos of the mind and the macrocosmos of the universe exist, these worlds dissolve into (1) transitions of thought, (2) the fleetingly existent data to and from which these transitions are made, and (3) the affections felt either in the making of these transitions or in the way the data involved are regarded. Hume’s solution to the problem of origins, the copy principle, is based on these three elements.

Keywords: David Hume; ideas; problem of origins; association; copy principle

Chapter.  32515 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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