Essay: Evaluation of Hume’s argument
David Hume enquiry concerning human understanding claims that our knowledge of the cause-effect relation comes entirely from experience. Thus, reasoning is useless here, since no amount of thought can show that. Holding to this argument, this paper shall evaluate the claim and critique the claim. In attempt to answer examine the validity of this argument, it is a point of worth to look at the objects of human reason and then establish their relationship with our experiential knowledge.
The objects of human reason or enquiry according to Hume are naturally divided into two kinds: matters of fact and relations of ideas (Hume 52). The matters of relations of ideas are represented by kind are the sciences of geometry, algebra, and arithmetic, which is either intuitively or demonstratively certain. For instance, the relationship given by Pythagoras theorem of a right angle triangle is a proposition that express a relation between these figures. Therefore, the knowledge of this kind of propositions can be discovered purely by thinking, without a need to attend to anything that actually exists anywhere in the universe or experience of right angle triangle.