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An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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Hume differentiates between ideas and impressions, where he describes impressions as mind conceptions concerning situations or circumstances or objects. On the other hand, he describes ideas as beliefs derived from impressions based on cause and effect, resemblance and contiguity. Hume then digs deep to differentiate between matters of facts and relations of ideas. Matters of fact are simple truth, come to after experiences. Relations of ideas are truths come upon and have been agreed on whose denial leads to a contradiction. Matters of fact are derived from experience; therefore, can be said to be unobserved conclusion. These are come to at a personal level since they are what we feel concerning certain circumstances. Relations of ideas are conclusions made after thorough research and observations. Therefore, according to Hume, human understanding can be divided into two. Understanding based on experience and understanding based on study and observation. From experience, people come up with impressions and matters of fact. From study and observation, people come up with ideas relations of ideas.

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According to analysts, Hume has been able to bring out the topic of human understanding in detail. Hume is said to argue knowledgeably concerning the topics and thus convincing the audience. Hume’s article has been criticized that he has short statements in support of his argument. Therefore, it does not offer a good ground for argumentative discussion. His writing is said to be good for reading beginners while compared with T.H Green’s Treatise. Hume’s critique is said to be flawed in that it has only one view. It would be more convincing if he argued from different points of view than just one. Different points of view enable the audience to think broadly as they study the critique. Also, critiques with different points of argument, seem well researched thus considered good for referencing. Different perceptions are apt for class reading since students are encouraged to think broadly.

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