The Role of Custom in Associative Understanding

Wayne Waxman

in Kant and the Empiricists

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177398
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786176 | DOI:
 The Role of Custom in Associative Understanding

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This chapter discusses Hume’s three fundamental principles of association essential to human understanding: association by resemblance to general ideas and discourse, association by contiguity to space and time, and association by understanding in particular. While these principles are neither infallible nor the sole causes of the unions of ideas, they are principles “so permanent, irresistible, and universal that their removal would cause human nature to perish and go to ruin”. However, it becomes evident that this is true insofar as association is supported by custom (habits of mind).

Keywords: David Hume; association; custom; understanding

Chapter.  21948 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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