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By taking ideas from philosophers before him such as Locke and Berkeley, Hume is able to argue how our ideas and beliefs come from past experiences rather than from reason.

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Introduction

"An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", is a book where Humes attempts to convince the audience through a series of arguments the theory of knowledge. In Part 1-3 of the book, Humes explains the two forms of philosophical thinking and the difference between impressions and ideas. By taking ideas from philosophers before him such as Locke and Berkeley, Humes is able to argue how our ideas and beliefs come from past experiences rather than from reason. In Part 2, Humes explains that most of our ideas and beliefs stem from past experiences not in reason. He believes that if we try to support our ideas through reason, we will never find the answer. ...read more.

Middle

All in all, Humes argues that through nature, one is able to form ideas and beliefs. Like many of the great philosophers before him, Humes did not come up with his arguments all by himself. Although he may have taken some arguments from John Locke and George Berkeley, I respect that Humes not only elaborated on these ideas but also solved some flawed reasoning proposed by the previous philosophers. Both Berkeley and Humes believed that our words stemmed from previous ideas and that people are not talking logically if there are no ideas behind their words. But the main difference that I found between these two philosophers was that Berkeley believed that God has a role in imbuing these ideas into people's minds. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is the classic argument of nature vs. nurture. Both Humes and Locke believed that the mind was a blank slate and that all the knowledge of the world around them was based on what the person could gain from their sensory experience. Humes makes a good argument supporting this idea and I think this is one of the main reasons people accept his view that ideas come from prior knowledge and the sensory experience. Still considered to be one of the influential philosophers of his time, Humes' logic is still used in the world today. As one continues to read through the book, one will notice that Humes continues to build upon his ideas. Because Humes arguments and views are logical and understandable, I believe this is why he made new strides during the Enlightenment. ...read more.

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