I got an email from a fellow in Italy who claims I am not fair to David Hume. I still contend that : Hume's theories lead to absurdities. His theories are self contradictory, and his theories lead to universal skepticism and destroy the validity of Human Reason.
Also he contended that the theory cause and effect (so says Hume) is based on Induction. I claim the knowledge of cause and effect is in reality based on : principle of non-contradiction and the impossiblity of an infinite regress. ... Later:
On the impossibility of the infinite regress: click here : http://www.philosophyclass.net/infiniteregress.htm
On the principle of non-contradiction: click here : http://www.philosophyclass.net/noncontradiction.htm
(In the future I will bring them together to build the theory of causality)
Also: "The Problem of Induction" written by Mr. Hayden, my late prof. http://www.philosophyclass.net/inductivelogic.htm
I recommend the following entertaining book: "Socrates Meets Hume" by Peter Kreeft
I add this to prove I am not the only one who thinks Humeanism leads necessarily to universal skepticism, whether Hume liked it or not, or knew it or not. (Reducio ad absurdrum) http://www.philosophyclass.net/argumentumadabsursum.htm
This book is a discussion Professor Kreeft thinks would exist were both Socrates and Hume alive today .. This work, written in entertaining form, and contains some good argumentation.
"Socrates: (to David Hume): ...you are a suicidal philosopher. Your philosophy was the suicide of philosphy. If your philosphy were true, then it would not be true, for if your philosophy were true, then no philosphy could be true, including yours.
Hume: Because of my skepticism?
Socrates: Yes, because of your skepticism, and also because of this particular skeptical point, that there is no self. For if I were right about philosophy, it is our response the the divine command "Know theyself." But if there is no self, then there is no self to know, and we cannot know the self and thus cannot philosophize. So we must conclude by examining this most crucial point, your "bottom line" conclusion of skepticism"
(argument between Hume and Socrates continues in Ch. 3.)
CAUSE and EFFECT, or do ya think?
1. The doctrine of cause and effect are behind reasoning and without them, most of what we ordinarily think does not make sense.
2. The philosopher David Hume said there is no such thing as cause and effect.
He said we only see sequences of events, not cause and effect. We sense a sequence.
3. He said we posit cause and effect because we repeatedly see one thing follow another. Example: Cue stick hits white ball. White ball hits 8 ball. 8 ball goes in side pocket.
1. We say you using cue stick is cause of 8 ball in pocket.
2. Your friends think so. You win the money they bet on the game.
3. However, says Hume, if newly created Adam stood there and saw the game, he wouldn't know you caused it until he saw it over and over.
4. Just because one thing has followed another in the past, doesn't mean it will in future.
CRITIQUE.................. ....................Those who say Cause and Effect are real.
1. Causality (per se) is certain: based on metaphysical principle "A being cannot give what it does not have." Motion, change, are caused. (Aristotle, Aquinas)
2.True, principle of causality is not perceived by senses. It is a product of judgement. Judgement is done by intellect. (Remember ideas - Ideas are produced by intellect upon abstracting from sense image which is of a individual, material, and concrete being.)
Example: We see beings gaining and losing perfections and going in and out of existence. We apply the principle of contradiction to this observation. (See #1)
3. We are not sensing beings only, but we are intellectual beings.
4. Every science book is full of causality.: what is the result of technology w/out the doctrine of cause and effect.
5. Poison causes death. If you poison someone, can you plead Hume's theory in court as a defense.
There is a difference between one car following another, (as Hume sees cause and effect,) and a truck towing a car. (as those who believe in cause effect)
(Is the poison the tow truck or the first car from which others follow.?) What influence would the car others follow have on the ones following..
.6. Hume effectively denies nature. and laws of the universe. Physical sciences are therefore impossible. He implicitly denies principles such as "As a being is so it acts." "Activity flows from essence."
7. When a child burns his finger on a stove, he does not do it again and again, so he can see if one thing follows another. He perceives the cause immediately and is fearful of stoves.
8. Hume denies the "self". Man, to him, is a bundle of sensations. Hume must deny free will as a result.
9. Reaction against Hume is existentialism which "deified" choice. (Sartre)
10. Intelligence is the source of knowledge of causality. Hume denies intellectual part of man.
11. His view so opposed to common sense, even he did not practice it.
12. If you believe in Hume's theory of causality, close down police departments. Fire all the doctors. What else?
13. If one thing follows another as effect of cause, we have reason to believe it will in future with physical certainty. (There is also metaphysical certainty.)
14. Hume contradicts himself. He seeks the cause for the notion of cause. So he's in a logical bind. (Dr. Michael Slattery's Critique) (Most devastating blow to Hume's theory)..
ANSWER THIS: What kind of world would we have if we in reality, and not just in our armchair or philosophy class, disregard the notion of cause and effect?