Section I

1. Identify and explain the two approaches to (species of) the science of human nature that Hume discusses.

2. What are the advantages to each approach? What are the disadvantages?

3. Which of these two approaches would Descartes endorse? Explain your answer. Do you think Descartes is susceptible to the criticisms that Hume makes against this approach (see page 9)?

4. How does Hume suggest that we combine the two approaches he discusses?

5. What does Hume mean by “…true metaphysics…” (12)? How does he suggest we develop or cultivate this approach?

6. How does Hume react to the suspicion that the science of the mind is “…uncertain and chimerical…” (13).

Section II

1. What are the two types of perceptions, according to Hume, and how do they differ?

2. How does Hume’s view of perception differ from Descartes’ view?

3. Explain and assess Hume’s claim that the mind is limited. How does this differ from our (i.e. common sense) view of the human mind?

4. What is Hume’s view of ideas that are not grounded in (i.e., based on) an impression? Do you agree? Can you think of an exception to his view? How might Descartes react to this view?


Section III & Section IV


The following is an outline for section III and section IV (part I) of Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. You should use this outline as a guide while you a re reading the text, filling in details where appropriate. This outline will NOT be collected.


Section III: Of the Association of Ideas

 I. Connections between thoughts and Ideas of the mind

      A. Particular thoughts/Ideas

      B. Three principles of the connection among ideas

              1. Resemblance:                    
              2. Contiguity in time and space
              3. Cause or Effect

C. Hume's Study

Section IV, Part I: Skeptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding

Hume’s Plan:

I. Division of objects of Human Reason

            A. relations of ideas

            B. matters of fact

 II. The evidence for Matters of Fact

            A. Founded on relation of cause and effect

 III. How do arrive at knowledge of cause and effect?

            A. Knowledge of cause and effect is not attained by  a priori reasoning       

            B. Evidence for this thesis

            C. Arguments for Hume’s thesis


Section IV Part 2

1. According to Hume, what is the  foundation of all our reasonings concerning matters of fact? (32)

2. According to Hume, what is the foundation of all our judgments concerning our experience? (32-33)

3. What does Hume think we can learn through our experience? (33-34)

4. Does Hume think we can have knowledge of secret powers? Explain. (34)

5. What's the point of the bread example that Hume gives on p. 37?
    5a. Does Hume think we can learn of the power of nourishment from simply examining the bread? Explain

6.  What kind of inference is involved with the two propositions on page 37?

7. What is Hume's conclusion in section IV?


Section VII

1. What is Hume's thesis in this section? How is the argument of this section connected to his view on the origin of ideas?

2. Why does Hume discuss power and necessary connection?

3. Does Hume think we can discover the idea of necessary connection from objects themselves? Explain. Does he think we this idea upon reflection on the power of our minds? Explain.

4. Review Hume's discussion of the idea of necessary connection. Does he think we have an impression of this idea? If not, from where do we derive this idea?

5. Does Hume think the idea of necessary connection is meaningless? Explain.

6. What allows us to make the claim that causes and effects are connected?