RE: fragility and capuchin's --- the problems of Hume

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (
Date: Sun Sep 21 2003 - 20:07:32 EDT

  • Next message: Glenn Morton: "RE: Capuchin's show sense of justice/fair play"

    Among Hume's many failings -- and one that empiricism
    since has unfortunately shared -- is the shallowness
    of the conception of experience.

    This also goes back to a point Steve P. was asking
    about re how can religion be consonant with a
    scientific worldview, part of the problem with the
    "scientific" worldview, is that it has an *extremely*
    shallow definition of experience which basically takes
    *most* of what religion speaks about out of any
    "scientific" worldview, along with eliminating art,

    Hilary Putnam presented an excellent discussion of
    this problem as part of a Templeton Lecture series at
    UC Santa Barabara arguing for a deeper meaning of
    experience along the lines of what Kant discusses.

    It is well worth the read -- as is Putnam's Renewing
    Philosophy which has some relevant chapters on
    Wittgenstein and religion -- to begin to figure out
    many of the problems with the "scientific" worldview
    that passes for a "worldview" these days.

    --- wrote:
    > I will continue using the term _relativist_ (it is
    > not a curse - it just
    > describes someone's propensity to disfavour the
    > existence of truth)
    > particularly when you say things like:
    > >>>Try reading David Hume.<<<
    > OK. Here's Hume:
    > 1) Facts cannot be proved but are discovered or
    > inferred from experience
    > and judgement about reality is not feasible.
    > 2) Assertion that the absolute universal principles
    > are unknowable.
    > 3) Knowledge is based solely on experience and has
    > no outside influences.
    > Therefore there is no truth since future experiences
    > may undermine any
    > current truthful claims.
    > Now to say that Hume has a few flaws is an
    > understatement:
    > All self referencing here. For example if one holds
    > as Hume does, that all
    > judgement about reality is uncalled for (since we
    > are not 'qualified'
    > enough or know enough, to make judgements) then one
    > is making a judgement
    > without qualification.
    > The assertion that absolute universal principles are
    > unknowable is false
    > since it claims that at least one _absolute_
    > universal principle is
    > knowable: that no absolute universal principles are
    > knowable!
    > Knowledge is based on experience and has no outside
    > influences? Please!
    > Hume contradicts himself again when he uses his own
    > experience/influences
    > to propound propositions like this.
    > And how about that historical truth gem: there is no
    > truth (a
    > contradiction) since future experience undermine
    > current claims? How about
    > Hume's own previous _truthful_ claim? Is it now
    > redundant, since we've
    > already had a future experience?
    > Relativist propositions are their own killers.
    > Here's another one:
    > >>>I have never seen anything that is self-evident,
    > thus I don't believe
    > any such thing exists.<<<
    > Is this absolutely true? That you have never seen
    > things that are
    > self-evident - if it is then, it is self-evident.
    > >>>absolutely nothing is unquestionable.<<<
    > If nothing is unquestionable, then this statement is
    > itself questionable,
    > therefore in the least, it cannot be trusted.
    > >>>IF something is self-evident...then it is in the
    > logical form of an
    > assumption.<<<
    > This is itself an assumption. Self-referencing and
    > therefore false.
    > >>>You didn't even address the problem of humans who
    > lack conciences and
    > thus
    > have no 'sense of justice' for others. Thus it is
    > not 'self-evident' that
    > humans have a sense of justice'.<<<
    > You should be getting the drift from the
    > contradictions above.
    > Quite frankly, my favourite philosopher is not Hume.
    > Best Regards.

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