Philosophy of Knowledge Essay

David Hume’s “The Origin of Our Ideas and Skepticism about Causal Reasoning” states his beliefs about cognition and his thought that we can merely hold comparative certainty of truth. Skeptics concur that there is non adequate grounds to foretell the hereafter or turn out truth. In “An Argument Against Skepticism. ” John Hospers argues that we can hold absolute certainty because there is adequate grounds from the past and from our ain experiences to turn out an statement to be true. Although both Hume and Hospers make strong statements. Hospers’ philosophical beliefs on different degrees of cognition and grounds are more convincing than Hume’s constructs on cognition and truth.

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Hume’s statement is based on the thought that we can merely be certain of analytical truths. such as mathematics ; man-made truths. or “matters of fact” are merely and can merely be likely. non truth. He believes that initiation can non be rationally justified because the premises support but do non vouch the decision to the statement. Hume states that through experience. people assume that the hereafter will stand for the yesteryear. and that similar things will be coupled with similar qualities.

Skeptics. like Hume. believe it is non an absolute truth that the Sun will lift every twenty-four hours ; it is simply supposed that history will reiterate itself. If there is any intuition that nature will alter. experience becomes useless in foretelling the hereafter. Hume inquiries why we should accept the uniformity of nature. and anyone who argues this point is said to be “begging the inquiry. ” He comes to the decision that there is no existent grounds to turn out that inductive statements are true or false. and accepting them is merely everyday but can’t be justified.

Hospers believes that because there are different sums of grounds needed to happen certain truths. there are different degrees of cognition. In day-to-day life. we use the weak sense of know. and therefore we do non necessitate absolute cogent evidence. Why should people be so disbelieving of propositions that are non relevant to mundane life? Hospers besides poses an statement to Hume’s thought that man-made truths are likely and can ne’er be existent truths. Hospers believes that an statement that has a likely decision can go a certainty. or truth. if grounds permits it. He argues that these “matters of fact” are likely until clip and grounds make them certainties.

Because we use the “weak sense of know” in our mundane lives. why wouldn’t we accept the uniformity of nature. and the thought that the past lineations the hereafter? The Sun will lift everyday in my life-time. because it ever has. and there’s no logical ground that it would discontinue to make so. If. every bit far as we know. nature’s yesteryear has ever shown a vision of nature’s hereafter. there is no ground to be disbelieving about it.

Hume’s point that initiation can non be justified makes sense but is arguable. If the premises support but do non vouch the decision to the statement. it can still be easy justified with small grounds. Hospers’ position on the sum of grounds needed to turn out that something will go on in the hereafter. is much more sensible and realistic in mundane life.


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