Classics and the Western Canon discussion

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message 1: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Once again, we start with a division into two and only two parts: “All the objects of human reason or enquiry fall naturally into two kinds, namely relations of ideas and matters of fact.” Agree?

From here, he continues to make assertion after assertion that I can’t possibly try to summarize. But he seems to me to summarize his core idea in a sentence late in Part 2: “We have said, that all arguments concerning existence are founded on the relation of cause and effect; that our knowledge of that relation is derived entirely from experience; and that all our experimental conclusions proceed upon the supposition, that the future will be conformable to the past.” I have no argument with that so far: does anybody?

I am satisfied that all reasoning must start with experience. Until we have something, whether a physical thing or an idea, to start from, we can’t reason. Mathematics needs to start with some postulate or postulates, and reasoning needs to start with something we have experienced.

But Hume goes further, and seems to me to suggest that experience is not only the beginning of thought, but represents the totality of the basis of thought. That we can only reason from experience to experience and that there is no additional process of reasoning.

I’m confused by what Hume is looking for when he asks for the “chain of reasoning” that moves us from “I have found that such an object has always been attended with such an effect,” and “I foresee, that other objects, which are, in appearance, similar, will be attended with similar effects.” Isn’t that exactly the chain of reasoning? It has been said that insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, if that is true, why isn’t it equally true that sanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same result? Why isn’t that a chain of reasoning?

Or, if you want more formal logical statement:

By experience, I have determined that for any identical sets of inputs, the set of outputs will also be identical, and that if the outputs were not identical, the inputs were not identical.

By observation, I have observed that for all times and cases, input A results in output B.

I observe a situation where the inputs are identical to my previously observed inputs A.

Therefore, in this situation the output will be B.

Isn’t that a chain of reasoning? If it’s not, what then is Hume looking for?


message 2: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 340 comments I am going to jump in boldly and say that Hume's point is that we do not logically conclude, e.g., that bread is nourishing.

His example, putting bread aside for a minute, is our reaction to fire.
A very young child might put a hand in a flame, but only once.
But if the child is to young to reason, then its avoidance of fire is not based on reasoning about the effects of fire- it is based on an association of fire with pain.

Likewise, many of the 'certainties' of grown men and women, philosophers even, are simple association of ideas.

He says there is no proof that the sun will rise tomorrow, simply because it is possible to imagine it not rising.

That is, it is not like a four-sided triangle (? not his example). If the opposite of something can be imagined, that that thing is not necessary or certain.


message 3: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Christopher wrote: "If the opposite of something can be imagined, that that thing is not necessary or certain. ..."

This seems like elementary logic. If the opposite of something can be conceived, then both of them are possible, and neither is necessary. (In other words, only two outcomes are possible, the probability of each would be 50/50.)


message 4: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Christopher wrote: "A very young child might put a hand in a flame, but only once.
But if the child is to young to reason, then its avoidance of fire is not based on reasoning about the effects of fire- it is based on an association of fire with pain.."


But if he is burned with a candle, it takes a process of reasoning to also avoid a lit butane lighter.


message 5: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 340 comments Everyman wrote: "a process of reasoning."

But Hume would say, look, if it takes a process of reasoning, then why are creatures, entities, what have you, devoid of reason, still able to make these associations?

Young children, cats and dogs, madmen..

I think Hume is saying it's less complicated than that.

Moreover, getting back to bread, he's saying no one can rationally deduce that bread is nutritious, because nobody really understands the nutritive power of bread.

Just the other day, I was reminded of the doggone Krebs' citric acid cycle, which my high school biology teacher made such a big deal about, but never really taught us about.

It was more like hypnopedia.. which is why I can say the four words: Krebs citric acid cycle, but can't really explain.


message 6: by Nemo (last edited Jul 04, 2017 09:26PM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Reminds me of a revised version of Pavlov's dog:

A man had a pet. Everyday at a fixed time, he would ring a bell and feed his pet. This happened day after day for many years. The pet developed the "knowledge" that whenever the bell rang, it's meal time. Then one day, the man rang the bell and killed the pet.


message 7: by Christopher (new)

Christopher (Donut) | 340 comments As I read this section again, I wonder.

He says not to beg the question, how do we determine that our experience of the past will hold good in the future.

Then he says, don't give me an abstruse reason, because children and dogs are capable of this "logic."

Is he himself begging the question? It seems a bit of a double bind.


message 8: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments I can agree with Hume that the more we think about concepts like cause and effect, the more we realize that we don't know the cause. Humility is the likely outcome of thought.

We don't know why things are what they are today, what causes them to be what they are, and so we can't logically deduce what they will be tomorrow.

By the same token, however, Hume's own proposition that ideas are derived from the senses does not stand up to scrutiny either. We don't know what really caused ideas to arise in our minds. Just because there is a similarity between senses and ideas, or ideas come after sensory experiences, does not prove that the former is the cause of the latter.

Hume undermines his own philosophy, it seems to me, as he attempts to prove that others' logic is invalid by using the same type of logic.


message 9: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments but he says we can discover, merely through thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe the certainties of euclid. is this true? i remember hearing that his formulas were derived from real world observations.


message 10: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "but he says we can discover, merely through thought, without dependence on what is anywhere existent in the universe the certainties of euclid. is this true? ."

There are different questions here. What is "true" in the context of math? How math relates to the real world?


message 11: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments pi r squared. i learned somewhere that it was derived from someone taking a string and measuring. hume is saying that someone can sit in a chair, never having studied circles, and come up with the formula. do i understand correctly? seems, again a contradiction.


message 12: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "pi r squared. i learned somewhere that it was derived from someone taking a string and measuring. hume is saying that someone can sit in a chair, never having studied circles, and come up with the ..."

To look at it from a sightly different angle, the area of a circle is independent of our experience. Even if nobody ever measures a circle in the real world, the area of a circle is still in a fixed relation to its radius. Because it is fixed, it can be logically deduced from axioms and definitions, and one doesn't have to see a circle to make those logical deductions.


message 13: by Bigollo (last edited Jul 05, 2017 03:22PM) (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Patrice wrote: "pi r squared. i learned somewhere that it was derived from someone taking a string and measuring. hume is saying that someone can sit in a chair, never having studied circles, and come up with the ..."

Patrice, pi r squared is the area of a circle in Euclidian geometry. You can't possibly obtain it from measurements, because pi is the exact number, not an interval of precision. You arrive at the formula (probably sitting in a chair), using the definitions of a circle, the area, and some calculus.
The relationship between reality (whatever that is) and mathematics is.. interesting to say the least.


message 14: by Patrice (last edited Jul 05, 2017 03:29PM) (new)

Patrice | 69 comments uncle! it was the formula for the circumference, not the area of a circle. pi is an exact number? didnt newton invent calculus? i am way over my head, sorry.


message 15: by Bigollo (last edited Jul 05, 2017 03:30PM) (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Patrice wrote: "uncle! i thought pi was an irrational number. i am way over my head. i always thought geometry was very real world, based on observation."

Yes, pi is irrational and transcendental to boot. And yes, geometry is a very real world. For Platonists, for instance, it is even more real than our (phenomenological) world. That's why we can't obtain geometrical formulas by measurements within our world. But, of course, measurements and observations may suggest..


message 16: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Bigollo wrote: "...pi is the exact number..."

I don't usually think of pi as an exact number.....?


message 17: by Lily (last edited Jul 05, 2017 11:19PM) (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments A system of logic can suggest certain relationships to hold in the material world. The system of logic, like Euclidean geometry, might well have been suggested by observations of the "real world." However, most ultimately depend upon assumptions that cannot be "proved," including the Euclidean requirements that parallel lines never meet.

When humans then develop systems of logic with different assumptions, they then tend to go looking for observable evidence of the conclusions of that logic, such as has occurred with non-Euclidean mathematics.

Yes, observations have prompted humans to develop and explore new logical (mathematical) systems, which in turn have spurred further observational efforts.

Sorry if I am being pedantic. I probably even deserve clarification.


message 18: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Nemo wrote: "...Just because there is a similarity between senses and ideas, or ideas come after sensory experiences, does not prove that the former is the cause of the latter...."

Nemo -- aren't you now moving into questions of the "meaning" of "cause"? What are you (or any other) proposing as an alternative "cause" (source?) of "ideas"?

(Perhaps the "firing" of neurons stimulated by sources other than the "senses"?)


message 19: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Lily wrote: "Nemo wrote: "...Just because there is a similarity between senses and ideas, or ideas come after sensory experiences, does not prove that the former is the cause of the latter...."

Nemo -- aren't ..."


Haven't you read what I said? I acknowledged my ignorance. I said I don't know what is the cause. Why do you press me with these questions? :)


message 20: by Lily (last edited Jul 06, 2017 08:19AM) (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Nemo wrote: "Haven't you read what I said? I acknowledged my ignorance. I said I don't know what is the cause. Why do you press me with these questions? :) ..."

Sorry! Maybe just interested in traveling with you on the flights of your ideas???

(Ones I might have considered possible to consider are mystical episodes that seem not to be instigated by "experience" in the scope of what is normally accorded to "natural experience.")


message 21: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Everyman wrote: "But Hume goes further, and seems to me to suggest that experience is not only the beginning of thought, but represents the totality of the basis of thought...."

Can you give us the passage that takes you to this sentence?

What does "totality of basis of thought" mean here? (E.g., it seems to me that researchers today postulate that prefrontal brain centers may react more quickly than the frontal lobe, which then must sometimes include that "processing" in its considerations. Is that "experience" evolutionarily coded into sections of the brain? The example I have seen cited is reaction to the appearance of a snake or other primal danger.)


message 22: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Lily wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Haven't you read what I said? I acknowledged my ignorance. I said I don't know what is the cause. Why do you press me with these questions? :) ..."

Sorry! Maybe just interested in tra..."


No flights of ideas here, just mundane logic. I was thinking of cause as necessary and/or sufficient cause. Sensory input is not a sufficient cause of ideas, neither is it a necessary cause.

Neurotransmission is basically a chemical process, which the brain is capable of carrying out with or without sensory input. One of the puzzling questions for me is: What makes the chemical reactions in our brain different from the chemical reactions we observe everywhere in the natural world?

LEIBNIZ made the following famous thought experiment in Monadology:

And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception.



message 23: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments the point of Pavlov's dog was that a reflex, salivation, could be transferred to the sound of a bell. a bell should not cause salivation.
the issue of the bread confused me in a similar way. the sight and smell of bread will cause us to salivate. its instinct and has nothing to do with reason. in fact, reason may tell us that broccoli would be better for us but the taste of the bread may cause us to want that instead.
a baby instinctually wants to nurse. it will reject bread. mothers milk is very sweet. babies and adults are drawn to sweet foods. all of this is instinct. none of it is reasoned...until we go on a diet and fight our natural desires.
i am not sure of what hume is saying. i dont believe experience or reason is needed, unless we are discussing olives. one must develop a taste for those!😉


message 24: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "the point of Pavlov's dog was that a reflex, salivation, could be transferred to the sound of a bell. a bell should not cause salivation..."

Pavlov' dog can also be explained in terms of association. The sound of the bell is associated with food in the dog's brain through strengthened neuron synapses. Similarly, certain objects or pieces of music always remind us of people and events in the past.

The bread example is a different kind of association, accidental associations, not essential. Hume passes over the idea of essence, perpahs on purpose.


message 25: by Bigollo (last edited Jul 06, 2017 02:29PM) (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Lily wrote: "Bigollo wrote: "...pi is the exact number..."

I don't usually think of pi as an exact number.....?"


In Euclidean Geometry we have well defined concepts of a circle, its diameter, and the length of a line. The number Pi is defined as the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Then it is proved that it’s the same number for all circles in EG. If we consider a straight line which points represent all Real Numbers, Pi will be sitting somewhere there as a point, not a smudge – a point. So, it’s exact. It’s a different story that this number Pi can not be represented as a fraction, that is, as a ratio of two whole numbers. But the set of all possible fractions (or Rational Numbers) is very small, it’s the least infinite set possible. The measure (or length if you ‘squeeze’ them all together) of all the Rational Numbers in the Real Numbers Line is exactly zero, as opposed to the infinite measure of the whole line. That is, ‘Most’ of the points on the line represent Irrational Numbers (that is the numbers which can’t be written as a ration of whole numbers).

Irrational Numbers are everywhere; even the square root of 2 is an irrational number, which is easy to prove and easy ‘see’. If you have a right triangle with two sides equal to one unit each, the hypotenuse of the triangle equals exactly the square root of 2 units. I heard a legend that when a Pythagorean, while on a boat, proved that the length of the hypotenuse in that triangle is unrepresentable as a fraction, his mates drowned him, probably because Pythagoreans worshiped fractions. Should we too? :)


message 26: by Bigollo (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Lily wrote: "A system of logic can suggest certain relationships to hold in the material world. The system of logic, like Euclidean geometry, might well have been suggested by observations of the "real world." ... ...
Sorry if I am being pedantic. I probably even deserve clarification."


I think it's exactly right and well put.


message 27: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Bigollo wrote: "Lily wrote: "Sorry if I am being pedantic. I probably even deserve clarification."

I think it's exactly right and well put. ..."


Thank you. Hope so. Still uncertain myself...


message 28: by Lily (last edited Jul 06, 2017 03:03PM) (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Bigollo wrote: "Lily wrote: "Bigollo wrote: "...pi is the exact number..."

I don't usually think of pi as an exact number.....?"

...If we consider a straight line which points represent all Real Numbers, Pi will be sitting somewhere there as a point, not a smudge – a point. ..."


Is that "true", Bigollo? Doesn't that (being a point on a line, even an infinite length line) imply it (pi) "ends" somewhere, which pi apparently does not.

Nemo posted this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RldH...

I had never seen this before and am still wrapping my head around it.

I don't recall whether "exact number" is a term used rigorously in mathematics and haven't been able to verify to my satisfaction, so my questioning may depend on definition.

I do see sources that label mathematical constants like pi as exact numbers. I do also see sources that say exact numbers have an infinite number of significant digits. So given that an infinite number of points can exist between 3.14 and 3.15 on a line, I can comprehend that PI could occupy a unique point in that range.

Sounds to me that I've talked myself into agreeing with you, Bigollo,


message 29: by Bigollo (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Lily wrote: "Sounds to me that I've talked myself into agreeing with you, Bigollo."

!!! :)


message 30: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Bigollo wrote: "Lily wrote: "Sounds to me that I've talked myself into agreeing with you, Bigollo."

!!! :)"


Where I still run into trouble is whether it is possible to determine what exact number would lie adjacent to PI.


message 31: by Bigollo (last edited Jul 06, 2017 04:30PM) (new)

Bigollo | 128 comments Lily wrote: "Where I still run into trouble is whether it is possible to determine what exact number would lie adjacent to PI. "

Lily, try to imagine this picture. Take ANY number apart from Pi on the Real Numbers line. There is INFINITE number of other numbers between your chosen number and Pi. Do you see that if that is true (and that is true, but here is not a place for the whole theory), there is no adjacent number then? Because if there were the adjacent one, you would still be able to insert at least one (actually infinite) between the 'adjacent' and Pi. So the 'adjacent' is not actually adjacent. Contradiction.

Moreover, not only can you insert between ANY number and Pi infinite amount of real numbers, all those numbers can be chosen rational numbers (fractions). That's why you can approximate Pi by fractions with any given precision. You just can't nail Pi with a fraction.


message 32: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Bigollo wrote: "...there is no adjacent number then? Because if there were the adjacent one, you would still be able to insert at least one (actually infinite) between the 'adjacent' and Pi. So the 'adjacent' is not actually adjacent. Contradiction...."

That helps! Thx!


message 33: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 329 comments Everyman wrote: "Isn’t that a chain of reasoning? If it’s not, what then is Hume looking for?"

At this point, I have no idea what Hume is getting at. My brain must be knit in a different pattern. He will go on and on about something I have yet to figure out what he means. Then, lo and behold, there is one coherent sentence, yet I can't figure out how it is connected to the rest, because what follows is just as obtuse as it was before.
I need a translator.


message 34: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Kerstin wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Isn’t that a chain of reasoning? If it’s not, what then is Hume looking for?"

At this point, I have no idea what Hume is getting at. My brain must be knit in a different pattern. ..."


I suspect your comment would break Hume's heart, who prides himself on writing abstruse philosophy in a lucid style, like Cicero of old.


message 35: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments Kerstin wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Isn’t that a chain of reasoning? If it’s not, what then is Hume looking for?"

At this point, I have no idea what Hume is getting at. My brain must be knit in a different pattern. ..."


oh kerstin! you made me laugh so! i am trying not to let him defeat me but im afraid he has. it is just as you describe it. i think it would have been easier had it been written in another language and someone who understood put into english.


message 36: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments Nemo wrote: "Kerstin wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Isn’t that a chain of reasoning? If it’s not, what then is Hume looking for?"

At this point, I have no idea what Hume is getting at. My brain must be knit in a dif..."


cicero was simple by comparison but then he was writing in Latin
so someone else really did translate.
Hume does seem to think what he is saying is quite evident! lol


message 37: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments someone did translate. now words are disappearing from my post!


message 38: by Lily (new)

Lily (Joy1) | 4444 comments Nemo wrote: "This seems like elementary logic. If the opposite of something can be conceived, then both of them are possible, and neither is necessary. (In other words, only two outcomes are possible, the probability of each would be 50/50.) ,..."

Why do you say the probability of each would (necessarily) be 50/50?


message 39: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin | 329 comments Nemo wrote: "I suspect your comment would break Hume's heart, who prides himself on writing abstruse philosophy in a lucid style, like Cicero of old."

I'm with Patrice here, Cicero is a cake walk in comparison. You were never lost as to what he was getting at. What makes Hume a cumbersome read is his habit of inserting three or four asides into each sentence and at the end of the paragraph you're completely lost in the weeds.


message 40: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (KLZeepsbcglobalnet) | 402 comments So, as usual I am reading a week behind (!) but trying to keep up. I'm struggling with what Hume is really looking for. He says he's looking for the "medium" through which we make inferences. It's almost as if he's imagining something mysterious or magical that we can no longer conceive of because we have more scientific explanations for how the brain works. I'm wondering when the concept of "instinct" was first introduced. Is that what he's trying to get at? That some things are "instinctive" rather than derived from experience? Or is it something else he's reaching for?


message 41: by Patrice (new)

Patrice | 69 comments its funny, a friend of mine said i should read an outline of his philosophy to better understand. i think i could write a quick outline. Yet i have such a hard time understanding him. Even the oxford lectures are incredibly wordy.

the words he chooses are interesting. But id better wait for the next section for that.


message 42: by Borum (new)

Borum | 284 comments Kathy wrote: "So, as usual I am reading a week behind (!) but trying to keep up. I'm struggling with what Hume is really looking for. He says he's looking for the "medium" through which we make inferences. It's ..."

Me, too. I'm still struggling what he meant by the 'medium' is.
I'm thinking that he needs a relationship between
"All observed A's are B's"
and
"Thus, any unobserved A is B"

So, by the 'medium' he may be referring to an assumption that 'Unobserved A will resemble observed instances of A' which lies between those two statements to form the missing link?


message 43: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Borum wrote: "Me, too. I'm still struggling what he meant by the 'medium' is. ."

Here is the example Hume uses:

Premise: an object has always been attended with such an effect,

Conclusion: other objects, which are, in appearance, similar, will be attended with similar effects.

Hume is saying that this is a non sequitur, objects which are similar in appearance don't necessarily produce similar effects, which is true. The medium is another premise that would make the inference necessarily true.

What Hume excludes, perhaps on purpose, from his argument is the philosophical concept of essence/substance, which I think would constitute the missing link.

Premise1. An object of certain essence is always attended with such an effect,.

Premise2. Objects with certain attributes in appearance are all of this essence.

Conclusion: Objects with certain attributes in appearance will be attended with the same effects.


message 44: by Borum (last edited Jul 18, 2017 11:59PM) (new)

Borum | 284 comments Nemo wrote: "Borum wrote: "Me, too. I'm still struggling what he meant by the 'medium' is. ."

Here is the example Hume uses:

Premise: an object has always been attended with such an effect,

Conclusion: othe..."


Ah, now I get it. So, by the essence/substance, the missing link would explain the mechanism by which an object is always attended with such an effect.


message 45: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (KLZeepsbcglobalnet) | 402 comments But it seems that even this essence/substance is subject to our flawed understanding and therefore not necessarily true. I don't see how this resolves the problem. Unless I'm misunderstanding definitions of these terms.
Also, why would he intentionally exclude this philosophical concept from his argument?


message 46: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Kathy wrote: "But it seems that even this essence/substance is subject to our flawed understanding and therefore not necessarily true. I don't see how this resolves the problem. Unless I'm misunderstanding defin..."

Essence is by definition what makes a thing what it is. For example, the essence of bread includes its power as food to nourish.

Hume excludes this concept from his argument presumably because it is not observable by the senses, but only arrived at by abstraction and is commonly used by the scholastic philosophers against whom Hume has an axe to grind.


message 47: by David (new)

David | 1335 comments I think Hume excludes essence/substance on purpose.

Could we say it like this? Terms, like the way essence is being used here, belong to a philosophy like Plato's where universals, or Forms are the reality and not the particulars, or other philosophies where universals are ideals. Hume's academic skepticism limits experience to particulars only and argues we cannot/do not experience universals or ideals, including their essences. For example, we cannot experience meeting mankind, but we can meet individual men.

From what I have read of Hume, he was too amiable to have an axe to grind against anybody including those he disagreed with.


message 48: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (KLZeepsbcglobalnet) | 402 comments So the concept of essence/substance doesn't work for him, and therefore he's in search of some other medium?


message 49: by Nemo (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Kathy wrote: "So the concept of essence/substance doesn't work for him, and therefore he's in search of some other medium?"

He is saying there is no such medium, by challenging rhetorically the rationalists among his readers to provide one. I obliged.


message 50: by Nemo (last edited Jul 20, 2017 07:41AM) (new)

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments David wrote: "...Hume's academic skepticism limits experience to particulars only and argues we cannot/do not experience universals or ideals, including their essences..."

Logic (the formal logic that is commonly used) depends on abstractions and universals, not only experiences. One can't make valid logical inferences without using universals. I think that's also why some of Hume's statements are self-contradictory.

he was too amiable to have an axe to grind against anybody including those he disagreed with.

Having an amiable temperament doen't mean one can't have a strong opinion about other people and their ideas. Hume makes no bones about his opinion of the schoolmen in this treatise.


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