Friday, April 18, 2008

Philosophy Outline

So in my philosophy class, we have to write a paper by next thursday, so I figured I'd start with an outline... and you (un)lucky souls get to read the questions I get to answer, plus some of my outline. Our paragraphs are supposed to be no less than 5 sentences, and 25% example, 75% explanation, so I plan on doing two sentences of example, six of explanation, which should result in 8 sentences a piece. At least that will be my attempt.

What is the distinction Hume makes between impressions and ideas

1. Impressions are current sensory input or original contents of psychological states.
2. colors, sounds, tastes, feelings are impressions, as are hate, love, desire, will, at the moment we experience those.
3. Ideas are similar to memory. They are not the actual impressions, only what we remember about them
4. Ideas can be associated with other ideas. Creativity simply takes the ideas/memories we have and links them together.
5. Ideas can be linked together in different ways, resemblance, contiguity, and cause and effect.
6. Resemblance is when one thing resembles another, i.e. "You remind me of so-and-so", or a caricature of a person reminds you of that person.
7. Contiguity is the association between ideas near each other in time and thought, i.e. my friend sally leads me to think of her mother, father, siblings, and the family as a whole. Cause and effect is similar, such as when I push keys on the keyboard, letters appear on the screen.
8. Both impressions and ideas are what Hume calls perceptions, or contents of consciousness

Do you agree with Hume that all of our ideas can be traced back to sensory impressions?

1. Yes. Anything I can think about is something that has entered into my senses and associated in some way.
2. If I think about happiness, I can only refer to the way I felt physically and/or psychologically at a particular moment.
3. If I think about the delicious smell of that pizza yesterday, I am simply recalling the sensation, or impression, of the scent at that particular moment.
4. The attempt to imagine a new creature, or planet, or shape, or psychological state requires me to refer to some other creature, or part of that creature, or planet, shape or psychological state.
5. An example, try to explain what salt tastes like. Without the experience, the best you might do is that it tastes like an ionic bond breaking up and attaching itself to various receptors on a certain region of the tongue.

Why does Hume think that reason alone cannot prove God's existence?

1. Reasoning from a priori suggests that there are truths that can be known before or independently of experience, but the existence of God is either a fact or it is not, and if it is a fact, then simply conceiving the idea that he exists is not enough to prove his existence, for it is equally possible to conceive of his non-existence.
2. Hume also rejects empirical arguments that every event has a cause, on his claim that causality is simply a habit of mind based on the constant conjunction of events in our own experience.
3. In one of his works, his character Philo points out that we see that the existence of houses depend on a builder, because every house had a builder.
4. This only refers to this universe, and so relying on our reason is insufficient to explain how universes come into existence.
5.Through Philo, Hume points out five problems. Infinite cause is not provable from a finite effect, there are improvements to make to this world, even if this world is the best it can be, it's not evidence for excellence, What evidence that there is only one God? And if we're anthropomorphic about this diety, why not suppose he's physical as well?

Why is Hume considered to be an agnostic rather than an atheist?

1. An atheist is one who disbelieves the existence of any god.
2. An agnostic is one who doubts the existence of God.
3. While an atheist claims that no god exists, an agnostic looks at the evidence for and against the existence of God, and cannot determine which case is valid.
4. Hume stated that we live in a world in which "all events seem entirely loose and separate," so anything is possible, including the non-existence of God, or even the existence of God.
5. Though he attacked typical arguments in favor of the existence of God, simply showing that the argument failed to support the conclusion, that was not proof that the conclusion was false, and Hume never claimed to establish the conclusion that God does not exist.

Do you agree and/or disagree with David Hume's ideas concerning the existence of God?

Well, that's all I have time for now, I should head over to my chemistry class. Adios!

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