Chapter

Hume and Ideas: Relations and Associations

David Owen

in Hume's Reason

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252602
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598159 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199252602.003.0004
Hume and Ideas: Relations and Associations

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Hume had a particularly rigorous empirical methodology of refusing to go beyond experience. This is first realized in his derivation of all ideas from impressions. But it also results in his refusal to treat an appeal to a faculty as explanatory of the characteristic activity of that faculty. Instead, he traces the observable connections among perceptions of the mind. Ideas stand in certain relations to each other; some of these are the natural relations of association, others are philosophical relations. Hume makes a further distinction between two classes of relations: the members of the class remain the same as long as the related ideas remain the same, while the members of the other class can change even if the ideas do not.

Keywords: association; empirical methodology; empiricism; faculties; Hume; ideas; impressions; philosophical relations

Chapter.  10453 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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