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Humes strong empirical views can be seen in many area of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding but I think the most clearly perceived empirical argument is that of his stance on miracles Through this paper I hope to give a brief summary of Humes take on empiricism and then will be able to provide an argument for how Hume had no other choice but to have the beliefs he did on miracles Humes most basic principle is that we are not born with innate ideas the ideas have an origin All of our ideas are formed from prior experiences He calls these initial experiences impressions Impressions are our more lively perceptions when we hear or see or feel or love or hate or desire or will Hume p10 For example when I see my roommate in the morning there is an impression I get of him Ideas on the other hand are less forcible and lively Hume p10 than the impressions So that same roommate I saw in the morning if I think about him later on and get a mental image of him is only an idea One final clarification Hume makes is that impressions need not only be external as I previously quoted it could be will desire etc All the components of our ideas can come from either outward or inward sentiment or the combination of them Hume p11 Another important aspect of Humes philosophy in Enquiry is that there are three principles that connect ideas resemblances contiguity of time or place and cause and effect Hume p14 Hume further advances that all reasoning concerning matters of fact are founded on the relation of cause and effect Hume p16 Humes empiricism also states causes and effects are not discoverable by reason the theories advanced by Descartes but by experience We do not know the sun will rise because of reason but we can speculate that it will rise because of experience
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