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By Calvin Pinchin (auth.)

ISBN-10: 033340596X

ISBN-13: 9780333405963

ISBN-10: 1349203521

ISBN-13: 9781349203529

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It is more important precisely because it is concerned with matters offact. It is beliefwhich more deeply concerns man as a moral being. A moral being has to act, and action requires belief. We are also forced by the necessities of life to pass judgements on matters offact. Ifthe mind is not to be limited to contemplating the ideas of sense as they occur, it must be by processes other than strict knowing that it escapes. If mind is to transcend its immediate ideas and impressions, then it must do so by belief.

What Hume has done here is to switch from tal king about ideas as mental items to talking of them as objective realities. We can have an idea of a book on a table, but this is not a case of our idea of the book being on our idea of the table. This confusion becomes clearer to us when we consider the third principle, cause and effect. There can be no doubt that when, for example, our thought of a gun calls up the thought of a dead man, there is some principle of association involved and one in which a grasp of causal relationships plays apart.

This is the thesis that what is known to exist must in some sense be mental. As we shall see later, this is not to be taken as a denial of the reality of physical objects and this is why it was a misunderstanding on the part of Dr Johnson to think that he could refute Berkeley by kicking a stone. Berkeley is best understood as the successor to Locke. According to Locke, a certain number of our simple ideas go together to form a complex idea. Let us take an example to get clear about this. Consider the idea, or sense-datum, ofthe sun which we have when we look upwards.

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Issues in Philosophy by Calvin Pinchin (auth.)


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