Humes Casual Doctrine

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Humes Casual Doctrine



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David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Understanding - The Doctrine of Necessity - Core Concepts

Hume develops a detailed three-stage psychological account of how probable reasoning works i. First, our senses or memory must present us with some object: our confidence in this perception our "assent" is simply a matter of its force and vivacity. Second, we must make an inference, moving from our perception of this object to an idea of another object: since the two objects are perfectly distinct from each other, this inference must draw on past experience of the two objects being observed together again and again. This "constant conjunction" is promptly filed alongside contiguity and priority, in Hume's still-developing account of our idea of causation.

But what exactly is the process by which we draw on past experience and make an inference from the present object to the other object? Here the famous " problem of induction " arises. Hume argues that this all-important inference cannot be accounted for by any process of reasoning: neither demonstrative reasoning nor probable reasoning. Not demonstrative reasoning: it cannot be demonstrated that the future will resemble the past, for "[w]e can at least conceive a change in the course of nature", in which the future significantly differs from the past. And not probable reasoning: that kind of reasoning itself draws on past experience, which means it presupposes that the future will resemble the past. In other words, in explaining how we draw on past experience to make causal inferences, we cannot appeal to a kind of reasoning that itself draws on past experience—that would be a vicious circle that gets us nowhere.

The inference is not based on reasoning, Hume concludes, but on the association of ideas : our innate psychological tendency to move along the three "natural relations". Recall that one of the three is causation: thus when two objects are constantly conjoined in our experience, observing the one naturally leads us to form an idea of the other. This brings us to the third and final stage of Hume's account, our belief in the other object as we conclude the process of probable reasoning e.

On his account of belief, the only difference between a believed idea and a merely conceived idea lies in the belief's additional force and vivacity. And there is a general psychological tendency for any lively perception to transfer some of its force and vivacity to any other perception naturally related to it e. Thus in probable reasoning, on Hume's account, our lively perception of the one object not only leads us to form a mere idea of the other object, but enlivens that idea into a full-fledged belief. This is only the simplest case: Hume also intends his account to explain probable reasoning without conscious reflection as well as probable reasoning based on only one observation.

Hume now pauses for a more general examination of the psychology of belief. The other two natural relations resemblance and contiguity are too "feeble and uncertain" to bring about belief on their own, but they can still have a significant influence: their presence strengthens our preexisting convictions, they bias us in favor of causes that resemble their effects, and their absence explains why so many don't "really believe" in an afterlife. Similarly, other kinds of custom-based conditioning e. Next, Hume considers the mutual influence of and the passions, and of belief and the imagination. Only beliefs can have motivational influence: it is the additional force and vivacity of a belief as opposed to a mere idea that makes it "able to operate on the will and passions".

And in turn we tend to favor beliefs that flatter our passions. Likewise, a story must be somewhat realistic or familiar to please the imagination, and an overactive imagination can result in delusional belief. Hume sees these diverse phenomena as confirming his 'force and vivacity' account of belief. Indeed, we keep ourselves "from augmenting our belief upon every increase of the force and vivacity of our ideas" only by soberly reflecting on past experience and forming "general rules" for ourselves.

Hume then examines probable reasoning under conditions of empirical uncertainty, distinguishing "proofs" conclusive empirical evidence from mere "probabilities" less than conclusive empirical evidence. Beginning with a brief section on the "probability of chances", he gives the example of a six-sided die , four sides marked one way and two sides marked another way: background causes lead us to expect the die to land with a side facing up, but the force of this expectation is divided indifferently across the six sides, and finally reunited according to the die's markings, so that we end up expecting the one marking more than the other.

This is mainly prelude to the "probability of causes", where Hume distinguishes three "species of probability": 1 "imperfect experience", where young children haven't observed enough to form any expectations, 2 "contrary causes", where the same event has been observed to have different causes and effects in different circumstances, due to hidden factors, and 3 analogy, where we rely on a history of observations that only imperfectly resemble the present case. He focuses on the second species of probability specifically reflective reasoning about a mixed body of observations , offering a psychological explanation much like that of the probability of chances: we begin with the custom-based impulse to expect that the future will resemble the past, divide it across the particular past observations, and then reflecting on these observations reunite the impulses of any matching observations, so that the final balance of belief favors the most frequently observed type of case.

Hume's discussion of probability finishes with a section on common cognitive biases , starting with recency effects. First, the more recent the event whose cause or effect we are looking for, the stronger our belief in the conclusion. Second, the more recent the observations we draw on, the stronger our belief in the conclusion. Third, the longer and more discontinuous a line of reasoning, the weaker our belief in the conclusion. Fourth, irrational prejudices can be formed by overgeneralizing from experience: the imagination is unduly influenced by any "superfluous circumstances" that have frequently been observed to accompany the circumstances that actually matter.

And paradoxically, the only way to correct for the pernicious influence of "general rules" is to follow other general rules, formed by reflecting on the circumstances of the case and our cognitive limitations. Throughout the section, Hume uses his 'force and vivacity' account of belief to account for these "unphilosophical" influences on our reasoning. Having completed his account of probable reasoning, Hume returns to the mysterious idea of necessary connection. He rejects some proposed sources of this idea: not from the "known qualities of matter", nor from God, nor from some "unknown quality" of matter, nor from our power to move our body at will.

For all ideas derive from experience, and in no single case do we observe anything like a necessary connection linking cause to effect. But the idea does arise upon repeated observations, and since mere repetition cannot produce anything new in the objects themselves, the idea must therefore derive from something new in our mind. Thus he concludes that the idea of necessary connection is derived from inside: from the feeling we experience when the mind conditioned by repeated observation makes a causal inference. And though his conclusion is shocking to common sense, Hume explains it away by noting that "the mind has a great propensity to spread itself on external objects ". Finally, he offers two definitions of 'cause': one in terms of the objects viz.

Hume finishes Part 3 with two brief sections. First, he presents eight rules for empirically identifying true causes: after all, if we leave aside experience, "[a]ny thing may produce any thing". Second, he compares human reason with animal reason , a comparison which clinches the case for his associationist account of probable reasoning: after all, animals are clearly capable of learning from experience through conditioning , and yet they are clearly incapable of any sophisticated reasoning.

Hume begins Part 4 by arguing that "all knowledge degenerates into probability", due to the possibility of error: even the rock solid certainty of mathematics becomes less than certain when we remember that we might have made a mistake somewhere. But things get worse: reflection on the fallibility of our mind, and meta-reflection on the fallibility of this first reflection, and so on ad infinitum , ultimately reduces probability into total skepticism —or at least it would , if our beliefs were governed by the understanding alone. But according to Hume, this "extinction of belief" does not actually happen: having beliefs is part of human nature, which only confirms Hume's account of belief as "more properly an act of the sensitive, than of the cogitative part of our natures".

And as for why we do not sink into total skepticism, Hume argues that the mind has a limited quantity of "force and activity", and that difficult and abstruse reasoning "strain[s] the imagination", "hinder[ing] the regular flowing of the passions and sentiments". As a result, extremely subtle skeptical argumentation is unable to overpower and destroy our beliefs. Next comes an extremely lengthy account of why we believe in an external physical world: i. Hume considers three potential sources of this belief—the senses, reason, and the imagination.

It's not the senses: clearly they are incapable of informing us of anything existing unobserved. Nor can they inform us of objects with distinct existence: the senses present us with sense perceptions only, which means they cannot present them as representations of some further objects, nor present them as themselves objects with distinct existence for the senses are unable to identify the mysterious self, distinguishing it from and comparing it with sense perceptions.

So this belief must come from the imagination. But only some of our impressions bring about the belief: namely, impressions with constancy invariableness in appearance over time and coherence regularity in changing appearances. Thus Hume proceeds to develop an account of how the imagination, fed with coherent and constant impressions, brings about belief in objects with continued and therefore distinct existence. Given coherent impressions, we have only one way of accounting for our observations consistently with past experience: we form the supposition that certain objects exist unperceived. And since this supposes more regularity than is found in past observation, causal reasoning alone cannot explain it: thus Hume invokes the imagination's tendency to continue in any "train of thinking" inertially, "like a galley put in motion by the oars".

But to explain "so vast an edifice, as Philosophers therefore distinguish mental perceptions from external objects. But, Hume argues, this philosophical "system of a double existence" could never arise directly from reason or the imagination. Instead, it is "the monstrous offspring of two principles", viz. Hume ends by voicing strong doubts about any system based on "such trivial qualities of the fancy", and recommending "[c]arelessness and in-attention" as the only remedy for skepticism. Next, Hume presents a brief critique of "antient philosophy" traditional Aristotelianism and "modern philosophy" post- Scientific Revolution mechanical philosophy , focusing on their rival conceptions of external objects. As for the incomprehensible "fictions of the antient philosophy", he thinks they can shed further light on human psychology.

We begin with contradictions in "our ideas of bodies": between seeing bodies as ever-changing bundles of distinct qualities, and seeing bodies as simple unities that retain their identity across time. We reconcile these contradictions by fabricating "something unknown and invisible" that underlies change and unifies the distinct qualities together: i. Similar fictions, fabricated by the imagination to resolve similar difficulties, include substantial forms , accidents , and occult qualities , all meaningless jargon used only to hide our ignorance.

Modern philosophy, however, claims to disown the "trivial propensit[ies] of the imagination" and follow only solid reason or, for Hume, "the solid, permanent, and consistent principles of the imagination". Its "fundamental principle" is that secondary qualities "colours, sounds, tastes, smells, heat and cold" are "nothing but impressions in the mind", as opposed to the primary qualities "motion, extension, and solidity" that exist in reality. But Hume argues that primary qualities cannot be conceived apart from the secondary qualities. Thus if we follow solid reason and exclude the latter, we will be forced to contradict our own senses by excluding the former as well, thereby denying the entire external world.

Hume then examines "the nature of the mind", starting with the materialist-dualist debate over the substance of the mind. He rejects the whole question as "unintelligible", for we have no impression and therefore no idea of any substance, and defining 'substance' as something which may exist by itself doesn't help each of our perceptions, Hume argues, would then count as a distinct substance. Turning to the question of the " local conjunction " of mind and matter, he considers and endorses the anti- materialist argument which asks how unextended thoughts and feelings could possibly be conjoined at some location to an extended substance like a body.

Hume then provides a psychological account of how we get taken in by such illusions in his example, a fig and an olive are at opposite ends of a table, and we mistakenly suppose the sweet figgy taste to be in one location and the bitter olive taste to be in the other , arguing that unextended perceptions must somehow exist without having a location. But the contrary problem arises for dualists: how can extended perceptions of extended objects possibly be conjoined to a simple substance?

Indeed, Hume waggishly adds, this is basically the same problem that theologians commonly press against Spinoza 's naturalistic metaphysics : thus if the theologians manage to solve the problem of extended perceptions belonging to a simple substance, then they give "that famous atheist" Spinoza a solution to the problem of extended objects as modes of a simple substance. Finally, Hume examines causal relations , arguing on behalf of materialists that our observations of regular mind-body correlations are enough to show the causal dependence of the mind on the body, and that, since "we are never sensible of any connexion betwixt causes and effects" in general, our inability to detect any a priori connection between mind and body does nothing to show causal independence.

Finally, Hume weighs in on the topic of personal identity. Notoriously, he claims that introspective experience reveals nothing like a self i. And so he gives a psychological account of why we believe in personal identity, arguing that "the identity, which we ascribe to the mind of man, is only a fictitious one, and of a like kind with that which we ascribe to vegetables and animal bodies".

Hume's account starts with our tendency to confound resembling but contrary ideas, viz. Next, he argues that the everyday objects we ascribe identity to e. Applying all this to personal identity, he argues that since all our perceptions are distinct from each other, and since we "never observ[e] any real connexion among objects", our perceptions are merely associated together by the natural relations of resemblance in part produced by the memory and causation only discovered by the memory. And consequently, leaving aside the fictions we invent, questions of personal identity are far too hazy to be answered with precision.

Hume finishes Book 1 with a deeply skeptical interlude. Before continuing his "accurate anatomy of human nature" in Books 2 and 3, he anxiously ruminates: the "danger" of trusting his feeble faculties, along with the "solitude" of leaving behind established opinion, make his "bold enterprizes" look foolhardy. All his thinking is based on the "seemingly And how much should we trust our imagination? Here a dilemma looms: if we follow the imagination wherever it leads, we end up with ridiculous absurdities; if we follow only its "general and more establish'd properties", we sink into total skepticism.

As Hume writes: "[w]e have, therefore, no choice left but betwixt a false reason and none at all. Happily, human nature steps in to save him: "I dine, I play a game of back-gammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends; and when after three or four hours' amusement, I wou'd return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strain'd, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther. And since no human can resist reflecting on transcendent matters anyway, we might as well follow philosophy instead of superstition, for "[g]enerally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

Hume begins by recalling Book 1's distinction between impressions of sensation "original impressions", arising from physical causes outside the mind and impressions of reflection "secondary impressions", arising from other perceptions within the mind , examining only the latter. He divides these "reflective impressions"—" the passions, and other emotions resembling them "—into "the calm and the violent " nearly imperceptible emotions of "beauty and deformity", and turbulent passions we experience more strongly and into " direct and indirect " depending on how complicated the causal story behind them is.

Pride and humility are indirect passions, and Hume's account of the two is his leading presentation of the psychological mechanisms responsible for the indirect passions. Since we cannot put the feeling of a passion into words , Hume identifies passions via their characteristic causes and effects. The cause of a passion is what calls up the passion: e. A cause can be subdivided into the subject itself e. The object of a passion is what the passion is ultimately directed at: pride and humility are both directed at oneself. Both object and cause have a foundation in human nature: according to Hume, the object of these passions is fixed by the basic constitution of human psychology Hume uses the term "original" , whereas their causes are determined by a more general set of adaptable psychological mechanisms "natural" but not original.

Hume's account relies on three mechanisms. First, the "association of ideas": the mind tends to move from one idea to another idea that is naturally related to it. Second, the "association of impressions": the mind tends to move from one passion to another passion that resembles it in feeling e. Third, their "mutual assistance": if we feel a passion towards something, we will tend to feel a resembling passion towards something else naturally related to it e. Applying all this to pride, Hume argues that the pleasant sensation of pride, directed at ourselves, naturally tends to be called up when something naturally related to ourselves produces a pleasant sensation of its own.

Likewise with humility: when something naturally related to ourselves produces an unpleasant sensation of its own, it tends to make us ashamed of ourselves. These indirect passions are thus the product of the "double relation of impressions and ideas". Hume completes his account with five "limitations". First, in order for pride or humility to be produced, the relation of ideas must be a relatively close one. Second, because our judgments are strongly influenced by "comparison", this relation must apply only to ourselves or a few others.

Third, the cause of pride or humility must be something evident to ourselves and others. Fourth, this cause must be a long-lasting one. Fifth, general rules have a strong influence on our passions, leading us to overlook occasional anomalies. In the next three sections, Hume puts his account to the test by examining three causes of pride and humility: the qualities of one's mind, of one's body, and of external objects. First, the qualities of the mind: our virtues and vices. Here Hume's main point is that, whatever the true nature of moral evaluation, whether it is a matter of innate moral psychology Hume's own view , or instead self-interest and cultural training the view of Hobbes and Mandeville , his account will hold up.

For, on either theory, virtues produce a pleasant sensation of their own and vices a painful sensation of their own. Next come the qualities of the body: physical beauty and deformity. Here Hume's main point is that the beauty or deformity of something's structure is nothing more than its power to produce pleasure or pain in us. To the objection that though health and sickness produce pleasure and pain in us, they are not typically sources of pride or humility, he recalls that these passions require a long-lasting cause related only to ourselves or a few others—thus a long record of exceptionally poor health can in fact be a source of shame.

Finally, Hume examines the qualities of external objects related to us. Though the natural relation of resemblance has little influence, he explains, external objects do not cause pride or humility without some relation of contiguity or causation —a fact he takes to confirm his overall account. After a few minor illustrations, Hume explains why pride in one's ancestors is magnified when the family enjoys uninterrupted possession of land, and when it is passed down from male to male both of the conditions, he claims, serve to strengthen the relation of ideas. Hume devotes an entire section to "property and riches". His account easily accommodates property : he defines it as private use consistent with the laws of justice, contends that whether justice be a natural or artificial virtue our minds naturally associate owners with their belongings, and observes that all things "useful, beautiful or surprising" call up pride in their owner.

But it is more difficult to accommodate riches : i. For Hume's earlier account of causation eliminated the distinction between power and the exercise of power, as well as the very idea of an unexercised power—and how can I take pride in mere coins and paper without such an idea? Hume finds two ways for something like unexercised power to influence our passions: first, predictions of human behavior are absent "strong motives" plagued with uncertainty, and we can receive anticipatory pleasure or unease from probable or merely possible exercise of power tentatively reasoning from our own past conduct to guess what we might do ; second, a "false sensation of liberty" presents all feasible courses of action as fully possible to us, giving us an anticipatory pleasure unrelated to any reasoning from experience.

Hume finishes by noting the pride we take in power over others, a pride enhanced by comparing our condition to theirs thus humans are prouder to own other humans than to own sophisticated machinery. Hume's next section adds a new kind of cause of pride and humility: viz. For Hume, sympathy with others, or "communication", is that mechanism by which we naturally tend to receive and share in the passions and opinions of those we feel close to. We start by observing "external signs" e. Since our extremely vivid conception of ourselves will tend to enliven any related idea, the closer the relation we see between ourselves and the other person, the more vivid our idea of their sentiments.

And if this relation is close enough, we will end up actually feeling their passion or believing their opinion: i. This mirrors Hume's earlier account of causal reasoning: both processes move along the three natural relations, channeling the force and vivacity of vivid perceptions into faint ideas, enlivening them into much stronger perceptions. Pride or shame in one's reputation, Hume continues, stems primarily from the sympathetically communicated opinions of others. But additional factors play a role: others might be seen as a good judge of character "authority" , and the very question of one's self-worth is both emotionally heightened and apt to evoke a self-conscious deference to the opinions of others.

The resulting account explains various observations: why pride is affected more by the opinions of certain people those whose character we like, whose judgment we respect, or who we have known for a long time , and less by opinions we know to be false and thus cannot share in. Hume finishes by illustrating and confirming his account with a concrete example viz. In the final section, Hume seeks to confirm his overall account of pride and humility by applying it to animals.

Following the model of anatomists, who test hypotheses by examining similar structures in humans and animals , Hume argues that animals can be observed to show pride and humility, that the causes are much the same viz. Hume's treatment of love and hatred is much like his treatment of pride and humility: all four are indirect passions produced by a double relation of impressions and ideas. As Part 2 begins, he again distinguishes object from cause, and quality from subject; whereas pride and humility were directed at oneself, love and hatred is directed at "some other person".

As before, a relation of ideas is needed between the cause of love or hatred and the person loved or hated, and a relation of impressions between the cause with a pleasant or unpleasant sensation of its own and the resulting love or hatred. And since pride and love are closely connected as Hume observes, we seek to win others' love by showcasing the qualities we take pride in , the arguments of Part 1 can simply be carried over. In a series of eight "experiments", Hume tests his account against observations drawn from ordinary life. The first four experiments simply confirm that the four indirect passions arise only in response to something pleasant or unpleasant related to some person: utterly neutral objects e.

The final four experiments focus on how easily a transition is made from one passion to another. As Hume's account would predict, we easily go from love and hatred to pride and humility: e. Curiously, however, the reverse does not hold: e. To explain this, Hume argues that the imagination has trouble going from lively ideas to obscure ideas e. Next, as Hume's account would also predict, we easily transition from love of one person to love of others related to this person.

But the transition is easiest when we "descend" from the greater to the lesser: e. And yet the imagination has the opposite tendency: e. To resolve this difficulty, Hume argues that it is easier for the passions to make minor changes adding in the love of a related lesser person than major changes adding in the love of a related greater person , and that the passions "are a more powerful principle than the imagination". Finally, Hume acknowledges a case where we can move easily from pride to love: "when the very cause of the pride and humility is plac'd in some other person", e. But this exception only confirms Hume's account: since the first passion arises from the other person, we easily move to a passion directed at that same person.

Hume then confronts an objection: his account ignores intention, having us love or hate those who bring us pleasure or pain even where this is completely unintended. In response, Hume insists that qualities unrelated to intentional action really can elicit love or hatred, so long as the qualities are "constant and inherent in [someone's] person and character": e. It is with isolated actions that intention is important: it "connect[s the action] with the person" and can also amplify the pleasantness or unpleasantness of the action, whereas "entirely involuntary and accidental" actions arouse only mild or short-lived passions.

In a further illustration, Hume considers our emotional reaction to those who harm us from perfectly justified motives e. In the next two sections, Hume uses sympathy to account for some particular causes of love and hatred. First, " relation , acquaintance , and resemblance ": we sometimes love others not for their personal qualities, but simply because they are related to us, familiar to us, or similar to us.

In these cases, pleasure arises from the sheer stimulating effects of sympathy: family members, neighbors, and acquaintances are a durable source of lively ideas, as are individuals with personal qualities resembling our own. And as Hume puts it, "[e]very lively idea is agreeable, but especially that of a passion". He adds an explanation of why children feel far less related to mothers who remarry and yet only somewhat less related to fathers who remarry—the imagination which "finds a difficulty in passing from greater to less" is more inclined to go from the mother to the mother's new family than from the father to the father's new family, a transition which weakens the original parent-child relation.

Second, we sometimes esteem people not for their personal qualities, but simply for being rich and powerful esteem and contempt being "species of love and hatred". To account for this phenomenon, Hume identifies three candidate "principles": 1 We enjoy thinking of their luxuries. He then argues that the third principle, sympathy, is by far the most important. The first principle has some influence on its own, but mostly operates by means of sympathy. And the second principle has little influence: it is relatively rare to receive any personal advantage from the rich and powerful, and we esteem them even when this is known to be impossible.

Hume closes the section with an overview of "the force of sympathy". Many animals, and especially humans, have a psychological need for social interaction. Moreover, sympathy with usefulness explains "[m]ost kinds of beauty": e. Lastly, Hume observes that "the minds of men are mirrors to one another": a rich man enjoys his luxuries, which brings esteem from others, which in turn excites the rich man's pride, which encourages further pursuit of riches.

The next six sections are dedicated to an examination of the "compound passions", i. Hume begins with benevolence and anger , motivational "desires" aimed at bringing about "the happiness or misery of the person belov'd or hated". This marks an important contrast: love and hatred have innate motivational consequences, whereas pride and humility are only "pure emotions in the soul".

But Hume goes on to note that benevolence and anger are despite the talk of "mixture" not an "essential part" of love and hatred; instead, they are distinct passions of their own that only happen to be naturally conjoined with the sensations of love and hatred, just as hunger is naturally conjoined with an empty stomach. Next come pity and malice. Like benevolence and anger, they are motivational desires aimed at bringing about another's happiness or misery; but unlike benevolence and anger, they apply quite generally—not only to those we love or hate, but even to complete strangers. Thus Hume calls them "counterfeited" versions of benevolence and anger. Pity also called " compassion " is received by sympathetic communication: anyone can arouse our pity, just by communicating "their interests, their passions, their pains and pleasures" to us.

Even people who show no emotion at their misfortune can arouse our pity due to the influence of general rules on our imagination. Malicious joy is produced by comparison—"[t]he misery of another gives us a more lively idea of our happiness, and his happiness of our misery"—and malice itself is "the unprovok'd desire of producing evil to another, in order to reap a pleasure from the comparison" though Hume adds a brief discussion of "malice against ourselves". Hume also uses comparison to account for envy : the unpleasant feeling we experience when another's "present enjoyment" makes our own happiness seem diminished by comparison.

He finishes the section by stressing the importance of a close relation of ideas: thus our envy tends to be confined to those in a similar line of work, a small horse seems more dwarfed by a large horse than by a mountain, and we gladly tolerate two adjacent paintings whose disparate styles would be "monstrous" if united in a single painting. The following section sees Hume amending his account in response to a problem. If love and hatred are produced by anyone who brings us pleasure or pain, as Hume has argued, then we should love those who bring us malicious joy, and hate those who bring us the pain of pity.

But this runs contrary to experience: we tend to hate the objects of our malice, and love the objects of our pity. Hume resolves this problem by introducing a new kind of relation of impressions: in addition to "the resemblance of sensations", there is also "the parallel direction of the desires". Thus the connection between pity and love, and between malice and hatred, lies in their motivational tendencies which run parallel to each other , not in the way they feel which run contrary to each other.

Hume gives examples to illustrate and confirm this "principle of a parallel direction", including a discussion of the emotions found in business rivals and business partners. But another problem arises: since Hume says we have esteem for the rich and contempt for the poor, how can he say we tend to love the objects of our pity? Hume's solution presents us with three levels of sympathy with misfortune: 1 weak sympathy, which makes us feel only the present misfortune of the afflicted, producing only contemptuous pity; 2 strong sympathy i.

In the next section, Hume continues examining the compound passions, characterizing respect also called "esteem" as a mixture of love and humility and contempt as a mixture of hatred and pride: the qualities of others produce love or hatred immediately, pride or humility by comparison, and respect or contempt when these are joined. And because we have "a much stronger propensity to pride than to humility", there is more pride in contempt than there is humility in respect.

Hume then acknowledges a problem: why, given his account, aren't love and hatred always accompanied by respect and contempt? His answer is that, whereas "pride and hatred invigorate the soul" and are associated with " magnificent " objects, "love and humility infeeble [the soul]" and are associated with " mean " objects: thus lovable objects too mild to produce much pride e.

Hume finishes with an explanation of why social inferiors are expected to keep their distance from their superiors. The final compound passion is "the amorous passion", i. It consists of three distinct passions: a sense of beauty , libido , and kindness. These three passions are bound together both by "resemblance" all have a pleasant sensation and by "a parallel desire" all have related motivational tendencies.

Accordingly, any one of them can end up producing the other two, with beauty most likely to produce the other two kindness and libido being "too remote" from each other, and beauty "plac'd in a just medium betwixt them". Hume argues that this phenomenon reinforces his "double relation of impressions and ideas" account. Hume finishes Part 2 with his last section on animal psychology. Love and hatred, he writes, can be produced in animals simply by the pain or pleasure felt from an object, or by such relations as "acquaintance" and "likeness" of species.

Sympathy works to spread feelings e. In general, Hume remarks, the psychological mechanisms at work do not require any sophisticated "force of reflection or penetration": "[e]very thing is conducted by springs and principles, which are not peculiar to man, or any one species of animals". In Part 3, Hume begins examining the motives that bring us to action. After a glancing mention of the direct passions and a perfunctory definition of the will as a mere impression we feel, he confronts the hoary philosophical problem of free will and determinism , dedicating two sections to a defense of soft determinist compatibilism. In the first section, he makes a case for "the doctrine of necessity". The issue, as Hume sees it, is whether human action is determined by a necessity comparable to " physical necessity "—the necessity that governs physical objects.

But since, according to Book 1, physical necessity is nothing more than constant conjunction and the causal inferences drawn by the human mind, the issue then comes down to this: is there a regular correspondence between human action and human psychology, and do we base causal inferences upon such regularities? Hume thinks the answer to both questions is obviously in the affirmative: the uniformity found in the world of human affairs is comparable to that found in the natural world, and the inferences we base on "moral evidence" concerning human psychology and action are comparable to the inferences we base on natural evidence concerning physical objects. Thus, given Hume's idiosyncratic account of necessity, it is hard to deny that human action is governed by necessity.

In the next section, Hume challenges "the doctrine of liberty"— the view that human beings are endowed with a distinctive kind of indeterministic free will —by setting out and debunking "the reasons for [its] prevalence". First, since we confuse necessity with violent constraint, we end up confusing freedom from necessity the indeterministic "liberty of indifference " with freedom from violent constraint the compatibilist "liberty of spontaneity ". As a compatibilist, Hume accepts the latter kind of free will, deeming it "that species of liberty, which it concerns us to preserve" and even "the most common sense of the word"; but he rejects freedom from necessity as either "absurd" being nothing more than sheer "chance" or else "unintelligible".

Second, we are deceived by a "false sensation of liberty": when deliberating about our own actions, there is "a certain looseness" to the will, so that we can easily produce an "image or faint motion" for each alternative course of action. Thus we end up convinced that we really could have acted differently, even though "a spectator can commonly infer our actions from our motives and character". Finally, we mistakenly think necessity poses a threat to moral responsibility, and is therefore "dangerous After noting that being dangerous is not the same as being false , Hume recalls that his "necessity" is a very attenuated one: there is nothing dangerous or even controversial about saying that constant conjunction and causal inference apply to human action as well as physical objects.

He then attempts to turn the tables on his opponents, arguing that necessity is in fact "essential" to moral responsibility : the rewards and punishments of human law would be pointless if human action were not regular and uniform, and divine punishment would be unjust if a person's actions were a matter of sheer chance, lacking any causal connection to the person's psychology, and revealing nothing about the person's character. Thus the threat to moral responsibility comes not from necessity , but from indeterministic liberty. Hume then passes from the will itself to the motivational factors that determine voluntary actions. Against the traditional view that reason and the passions frequently come into motivational conflict , Hume argues that reason is incapable of opposing the passions, and that the passions cannot run contrary to reason.

First, reason alone cannot motivate us—it can only perform demonstrative or causal reasoning. And since abstract demonstrations influence us only by directing causal reasoning e. And this in turn means it cannot counteract or regulate the passions: on the contrary, "[r]eason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions". Second, passions cannot be in agreement or disagreement with reason: for this is a matter of the agreement or disagreement between an idea and the object it represents, and passions do not represent anything else. Thus Hume notoriously writes: "'Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger".

Of course, if a passion is based on a false judgment—about an object that doesn't really exist, or a causal relation that doesn't really hold—then the passion can be considered "unreasonable" in a less strict sense of the term. But "even then", insists Hume, "'tis not the passion, properly speaking, which is unreasonable, but the judgment". Finally, Hume argues that the alleged conflict between reason and the passions is actually a conflict between two different kinds of passions—the calm passions and the violent passions.

Since both the calm passions and reason "operat[e] with the same calmness and tranquility", we confuse them with each other and mistakenly suppose our calm passions to be "determinations of reason". The following five sections examine the factors which give passions their motivational force. Unsurprisingly, the violence of a passion makes it stronger; but even a calm passion can be extremely strong due to "repeated custom and its own force", especially when it has been "corroborated by reflection, and seconded by resolution".

Nevertheless, since "[g]enerally speaking, the violent passions have a more powerful influence on the will", Hume focuses on the factors which increase the violence of passions. First, when a "predominant passion" is accompanied by other "inferior" passions, it can acquire violence by "swallow[ing them] up": e. Other psychological phenomena e. Next, "custom and repetition" can both leave us with a direct inclination to perform the activity we are repeating and also affect the violence of related passions. Hume discusses three stages of repeated activity : 1 The sheer novelty of unfamiliar activities makes our feelings more intense, either magnifying our pain or adding on the pleasure of "wonder [and] surprise".

Our passions can also acquire violence from the vivacity of our ideas. Thus particular ideas make for more violent passions than general ideas, and so too for fresh memories, conventional ideas, and ideas enlivened by great eloquence or passionate delivery. And, as in Book 1, only beliefs as opposed to "mere[s] fiction of the imagination" can call up any of our passions. Hume also devotes two sections to examining the vivacity of our ideas of space and time and the corresponding effect on our passions. In the first section, he accounts for three phenomena concerning vivacity and violence: 1 Distance in space and time is associated with a reduction in vivacity and violence e.

In the second section, he accounts for three very similar phenomena concerning "esteem and admiration": 1 Distance in space and time is associated with an increase in esteem and admiration e. Hume finishes with a convenient summary of the preceding six sections. At last Hume examines the direct passions , dividing them into two classes. First and most prominently, there are those direct passions which arise immediately from pleasure or pain in Hume's terminology, " good or evil " —this is simply due to "an original instinct " that orients us towards pleasure and away from pain.

Hope and fear arise from pleasure or pain that is "uncertain" to some degree. Desire and aversion arise from pleasure and pain "consider'd simply". And the will "exerts itself" when pleasure or the absence of pain is within our power to obtain. Second, there are those direct passions which "arise from a natural impulse or instinct, which is perfectly unaccountable": here Hume mentions benevolence, anger, hunger , and lust in section 3 he had mentioned self-preservation and the love of one's children. These diverse instinct-based passions, Hume writes, "produce good and evil [i. Hume spends the rest of the section on hope and fear , starting with a simple account based on probability.

In conditions of uncertainty, as the imagination fluctuates between a pleasant scenario and an unpleasant scenario, the passions follow suit, fluctuating between joy and grief. And since different passions can blend together like the lingering notes of a string instrument , the mixture of joy and grief will end up producing either hope or fear. But more often the causes and conditions are intricately combined, some of them being only secondary circumstances. When discussing the relationship of cause and condition one must remember that the term "condition" is used in two senses, the narrow and the broad. Apart from what we mean by condition in the narrow sense, conditions in the broad sense comprise such factors as "background" and "environment" and various factors of a causal nature.

But there is no strict and consistent dividing line between the two basic senses of the term, just as there is no dividing line between condition and cause. This fact often leads to an incorrect use of the two terms and to wrong definition of the various conditioning factors. Avoidance of incorrect usage is made all the more difficult by the overlapping of the accepted meanings of the two terms "cause" and "condition" and also the term "foundation". Science is gradually evolving special concepts relating to the categories of "foundation", "condition" and "cause", which, when used together with these categories, make it possible to define genetic links more exactly.

In various fields of knowledge the problem of the relationship between cause and condition is solved in different ways, depending mainly on the complexity of the relationships that are being studied, their uniformity or, on the contrary, the distinctness and comparative importance of separate factors. But the degree of abstraction usually employed in the given science also affects the treatment of this question. So the meaning of the cause and condition categories in the system of concepts of various sciences may also differ considerably. One could scarcely apply the relation of cause and condition that is revealed in studying, for example, physical phenomena, to physiological processes, or vice versa.

Every phenomenon is related to other phenomena by connections of more than one value. It is the result both of certain conditions and certain basic factors that act as its cause. That is why the cause-effect connection has to be artificially isolated from the rest of conditions so that we can see this connection in its "pure form". But this is achieved only by abstraction. In reality we cannot isolate this connection from the whole set of conditions. There is always a closely interwoven mass of extremely diverse secondary conditions, which leave their mark on the form in which the general connection emerges. This means that there can never be two exactly identical phenomena, even if they are generated by the same causes.

They have always developed in empirically different conditions. So there can be no absolute identity in the world. One and the same cause operating in similar conditions gives rise to similar effects. When we change the conditions we may also change the way the cause operates and the character of the effect. But this principle becomes far more complex when it is applied to such unique events as those of geology and social science. While stressing the close connection between cause and condition, we should never confuse the two. The dividing line between them is mobile but significant. By creating new conditions we can even preclude the earlier possible causes of a certain event, that is, we can "veto" the manifestation of one cause and allow free play to another.

This explains the fact that by no means every cause unfailingly produces the expected effect. A distinction should be made between cause and occasion, that is to say, the external push or circumstance that sets in motion a train of underlying interconnections. For instance, a head cold may be the occasion for the onset of various diseases. One should never exaggerate the significance of occasions, they are not the cause of events. Nor should one underestimate them because they are a kind of triggering mechanism. One way of discovering causal connections is to study functional connections.

The causes of illness may be revealed by uncovering certain breakdowns in the functioning of the organism. A functional connection is a dependence of phenomena in which a change in one phenomenon is accompanied by a change in another. Whereas, for example, a sociologist may be interested in population growth over a period of time and a physicist may be investigating changes in gas pressure in relation to changes of temperature, a mathematician sees here only a functional dependence of X on Y. The functional approach is particularly useful when we are studying processes whose intrinsic causal mechanism is unknown to us.

But when we wish to explain a phenomenon we have to ask what caused it. The concept of cause is identical not to the general concept of regularity but to the concept of causal regularity, which expresses the fact that a regular sequence of phenomena and conditions always takes the form of realisation of causal connections. In science the deterministic approach seeks to explain a process as being determined by certain causes and therefore predictable. Thus determinism is not a mere synonym for causality. It involves the recognition of objective necessity, which in turn implies objective accidentality. Hence there is a close connection between the category of determinism and that of probability. The relationship between determinism and probability is one of the crucial philosophical problems of modern science.

In quantum mechanics it is associated with the indeterminacy relation, and in living nature with that of cause and aim. Determinism should not be contrasted to probability. There is no special "probabilistic causality". But there do exist probability, statistical laws, which are one of the forms of manifestation of determinism. Determinism proceeds from recognition of the diversity of causal connections, depending on the character of the regularities operating in a given sphere.

Every level of the structural organisation of being has its own specific form of interaction of things, including its specific causal relation ships. Higher forms of causal relationships should never be reduced to lower forms. From a methodological point of view it is essential to take into account the qualitative peculiarities and level of the structural organisation of being. The dialectical approach is incompatible with mechanistic determinism, which interprets all the diversity of causes only as mechanical interaction, ignoring the unique qualities of the regularities of various forms of the motion of matter.

Determinism was given its classical expression by Laplace, who formulated it as follows: if a mind could exist that knew at any given moment about all the forces of nature and the points of application of those forces, there would be nothing of which it was uncertain and both future and past would be revealed to its mental vision. Mechanistic determinism identifies cause with necessity and accident is completely ruled out. Such determinism leads to fatalism, to faith in an overruling destiny. The development of science has gradually ousted mechanistic determinism from the study of social life, organic nature, and the sphere of physics. It is applicable only in certain engineering calculations involving machines, bridges and other structures.

But this kind of determinism cannot explain biological phenomena, mental activity, or the life of society. The character of causality is conditioned by the levels of the structural organisation of matter. In nature causality manifests itself in a different way from its manifestation in society. And in human behaviour causality emerges in the form of motivation. In nature determination acts in only one direction, from the present, which is a result of the past, to the future. Because of people's knowledge of the world, human activity is determined not only by present things but also by things, objects, events that are absent, not only by what surrounds man but also by that which may be far away from him in time and space, not only by the present and the past, but also by the future, which is viewed as an aim and becomes a motivation for men's activity.

Determination may thus have a two-way direction. Knowledge introduces the future into the determining principle of the present. The animal's active relationship with the environment is associated with a new type of determination: the conditioning of its behaviour by the task with which it is confronted. For example, birds build their nests in order to breed their young and protect them. The principle of determinism involves recognition of the objectivity, the universality of causal connections and has always played a vastly important methodological and heuristic role in scientific cognition.

The primary assumption for any scientific research has always been that all events of the natural and intellectual world obey a firm regular connection, known as the law of causality. Any field of knowledge would cease to be scientific if it abandoned the principle of causality. Causality and purpose. When observing the astonishing adaptation and "rational" organisation of plants and animals, or the "harmony" of the celestial spheres, people even in ancient times asked themselves where this harmonious organisation of all that exists had come from.

Thinkers have proceeded from various principles in trying to explain this phenomenon. The teleologists assume that there is an underlying purpose in everything, that at bottom nature has some intrinsic expectation and intention and is full of hidden meaning. The idea of teleology arises when a spontaneously operating cause comes to be regarded as a consciously acting cause, and even one that acts in a predetermined direction, that is to say, a goal-oriented cause.

This implies that the ultimate cause or aim is the future, which determines the process taking place in the present. The doctrine that the universe as a whole is proceeding according to a certain plan cannot be proved empirically. The existence of an ultimate goal assumes that someone must have put it. Teleology therefore leads to theology. Instead of giving a causal explanation of why this or that phenomenon occurred in nature, teleology asks for what purpose it occurred.

And to prove his case the teleologist usually refers to the purposeful structure of organisms in nature. One has only to observe the structure of the wing of a butterfly, the behaviour of an ant, a mole, a fish, in order to realise how purposefully everything is constructed. The crudest form of teleology is the claim that nature provides some living creatures for the sake of others, for example, cats are provided in order to eat mice and mice are there to provide food for cats.

The goal of the whole process of evolution of the animal world is man and all the other animals were created to make things comfortable for man. Heinrich Heine tells the story of the contented bourgeois with a "foolishly knowing" face who tried to teach him the principles of such teleology. He drew my attention, says Heine, "to the purpose and usefulness of everything in nature. The trees were green because the green colour was good for the eyes. I agreed with him and added that God had created cattle because beef tea was good for man's health, that He had created the donkey so that people could make comparisons, and that He had created man himself so that man could eat beef tea and not be a donkey.

My companion was delighted at finding a fellow thinker in me, he beamed with joy and was quite sorry to leave me. Heine took the humorous view, but the scientific argument against teleology in nature was provided by Darwin, who not only struck a blow at teleology in the natural sciences but also gave an empirical explanation of its rational meaning. Teleology feeds on the belief that everything revolves around us and has us in mind.

Instead of giving a causal explanation why this or that natural phenomenon occurred, teleology offers conjectures about the purpose served by its appearance. But can one ask nature, as though it were a rational being, why it created such a strange world of forms and colours? Can one accuse it of malicious intent when it produces ugliness? Nature is indifferent, it does not care whether it creates a lion or a fly. The relative perfection that allows its creatures to orient themselves in the environment, the adaptation to conditions and the adequacy of their reactions to external stimuli, which is found in all animals and plants, are real facts. The structure, for example, of the stem of a plant can serve as a model for an architect who sets himself the task of designing the strongest possible structure with the smallest quantity of materials and the greatest economy in weight.

Spinoza, who provided a splendid criticism of teleology in his day, did not deny purpose in the structure of the human body. He urged us not to gape at it "like a fool" but to seek the true causes of the miracles and consider natural things with the eyes of a scientist. This was exactly what Darwin did, and he revealed the natural mechanism of this amazing adaptiveness of the organism to the conditions of its existence.

His theories on natural selection showed that delightful blossoms exist not to please our aesthetic feelings or to demonstrate the refinement of the Almighty's taste, but to satisfy the extremely earthly needs of vegetable organisms, i. Changes in the world of animals and plants come about through interaction with their conditions of life. If these changes benefit the organism, that is to say, help it to adapt to the environment and survive, they are preserved by natural selection, become established by heredity and are passed on from generation to generation, thus building up the purposeful structure of organisms, the adaptiveness to the environment that strike our imagination so forcibly.

Brightly coloured flowers attract the insects by means of which pollination takes place. The beautiful plumage of male birds was developed by means of sexual selection. But adaptation is never absolute. It always has a relative character and turns into its opposite when a radical change in conditions occurs, as can be seen, for example, from the existence of rudimentary organs. To sum up, then, what we have is selection without a selector, self-operating, blind and ruthless, working tirelessly and ceaselessly for countless centuries, choosing vivid external forms and colours and the minutest details of internal structure, but only on one condition, that all these changes should benefit the organism.

The cause of the perfection of the organic world is natural selection! Time and death are the regulators of its harmony. Heinrich Heine, Werke, Briefwechsel, Lebenszeugnisse. Band 5. Reisebilder I. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin. Dialectical Materialism A. Spirkin Prev Chapter 2. The Principle of Causality The concept of causality, determinism. Chapter 2.

Naturally, we will feel even stronger Humes Casual Doctrine when the general tendency is actually realized, Tesco: The Different Sources Of Information Systems we deliberately set aside moral luck to correct our How Did The Treaty Of Versailles Affect Germany moral judgments. Such are the doctrines of our brethren the Catholics. Examples of vertical integration Tesco: The Different Sources Of Information Systems.