Essay by BruceeeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2008

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I will be studying human nature according to David Hume and his philosophical views on the empirical method. I only slightly disagree with the views of Hume. My theory is that we do gain a large amount of our knowledge through experience. This cannot be argued. However, I also believe that human beings possess knowledge that is innate, or a priori, such as morals and our ability to reason. However, I will discredit Hume's "matter of fact" philosophy with the help of such rationalists as Renee Descartes and the views of Noam Chomsky. David Hume states that the human mind, at birth, is a tabula rosa, or blank slate, on which experiences leave their marks, meaning human beings possess no innate knowledge. I will discredit Hume's philosophy by showing that human beings have knowledge that is innate and imprinted in the minds of human beings from the moment of birth.

David Hume believes that all human knowledge comes to us through our senses. Heavily influenced by John Locke, the so-called grandfather of empiricism, Hume believes that all knowledge is a posteriori, or acquired after experience. Our perceptions, as he called them, can be divided into two categories known as ideas and impressions. Hume states that:By the term impression, then, I mean all our more lively perceptions, when we hear, or see, or feel, or love, or hate, or desire, or will. And impressions are distinguished from ideas, which are the less lively perceptions, of which we are conscious, when we reflect on any of those sensations or movements above mentioned. (Hume, 1740)Here, Hume states that all our perceptions, including our sense of sight, sound, touch, and even our most powerful emotions are derived from ideas, which represent our perceptions. In this case, Hume denounces the idea of God, the...