Tuesday, November 15, 2011

David Hume (1711-1776):  Burn it!


"If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion." - An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, final concluding thought.


The above quoted sentence is from Hume's sequel to his earlier more massive work on human nature.  Now that I have gone through more than 1,600 pages of Hume's metaphysics, I am prepared to answer those questions that Hume proposes - with the caveat that "experimental reasoning" I will change to "scientific experiments", since most of us have had enough of politicians engaged in "experimental reasoning".  


Did Hume do any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?  NO!  Did he perform any scientific experiments concerning matter of fact and existence?  NO!  'nuff said.



2 comments:

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

So, basically you should burn Hume's book, uh? LOL LOL...

Speaking of politicians' "experimental reasoning": what are your thoughts on the Rep primaries?

Cheers

Looney said...

:-) I am a Christian; we don't advocate burning books! Only enlightened modernist intellectuals suggest such things!

I haven't been paying much attention to the Republican primaries. Can't be quite sure why, but I have the feeling that the US has gone past some point of no return where should sanity return it would still be impossible to stop the inevitable. But maybe I am too skeptical?