A philosophy paper I wrote

Hume’s Problem


There have been numerous assumptions on information we have on things we observed and have yet to see. A philosopher by the name of David Hume presents a paradox that challenges the knowledge of things we do not observe first hand. Everything that society would secure as things they have knowledge of would be completely at fault if this argument is sound. The way he attacks these inferences is through what is called as Inductive Reasoning and it calls for the use premises that are cogent (strong) with a possibility of a false conclusion. This is a scenario which relies on previously observed cases to draw the unobserved conclusions.

Since humans have limited ways of deducing facts, it is hard to actually rely on that since inductive arguments and be justified by deduction. If an argument must use its own format to prove it valid, then it does not count. Also, the only possible way to find knowledge is to go through empirical encounters in order to truly know something. Society will be in dire trouble if this situation will indeed cause a large problem for what we consider to know and not know. Assumptions of the unknown would not be valid at all to account for any situation, even if the guess about it is true

There are certain propositions Hume poses in his reading in order to attack the fact humans cannot rely on apriori knowledge (or knowledge of things we have yet to observe). By presenting that information is usually recovered by cause and effect. For instance, if there was an airplane on the moon people would automatically draw the conclusion that men were there. Induction would say that men were the creators of the planes which somehow reached the moon and would be inferred.

If you proposed this idea to a person with strong rationalization, that same person would use cause and effect in order to prove the matter of facts. Hume is presenting a serious accusation against our knowledge of the unknown. Developing the knowledge we have now is based off experiences through life, yet there is always a recollection of past events in order to relate to another. This chain of events is all a part of the human experience.

Apriori knowledge lacks the foundation that empirical knowledge presents us, so Hume suggests that it can’t be justified in this matter. Empirical knowledge, even though it is the most reliable piece of knowledge we have, is also put into question as well. When everything is only based off past experiences, there is a uniformed similarity in everything else. Yet, there some instances where everything you observed a few times different may not be the same as expected. With this room of unpredictability, empirical knowledge also can’t justify the phenomena or causes by nature and philosophy always gives the possibility of the unlikely can occur but is highly improbable.

No one can reason against this, since Hume expresses this challenge and supported it with the example of the infants. Children are unable to reason so how would they have apriori knowledge to begin with right? The only way to develop this thought pattern would be through experience. Things dealing with the imagination of the mind cannot be arbitrary, thoughts are not just random things, and they’re collected over periods of time. People are naturally inquiring new information, which in itself is attacking knowledge of the unknown. We believe that using our previous experiences are truthful to engage in this argument, but we rely on the facts of cause and effect to be the source of our knowledge, calling for no decisive conclusion. An assumption like that only entails that the argument has no end, having no exact answer and only travels in circles.

To conclude, Humes has successfully presented an argument to society which is known as Hume’s Paradox. Everything that we consider and knowledge is false by his terminology, since empiricaI knowledge cannot always be relied on and apriori knowledge is not justified by any form of rationale. Even if someone was to deduce this argument, it would be considered invalid since it follows its own format for justification which is this:

Inductive Reasoning

  1. All observed A’s have been B’s
  2. So the next A will be B

Using this as the basis of the argument would fail in the eyes of Hume since this is the mere assumption and the possibility of the next A being and A is still present. This paradox also causes a huge problem since Induction is the only argument that can support against the accusation of no knowledge. Yet, that is the only possible way of defending against this claim since as a society of limited intelligence; we are only capable to the dimensions of this world.


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