What Do We Directly Observe According To David Hume?

Updated: March 05, 2023
We directly observe our sensations, emotions, and thoughts.
Detailed answer:

David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher and historian of ideas, whose work is often classified as empiricist. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and has been called “a Colossus who dwarfs all those around him.”

Hume said that there are two types of knowledge: knowledge by description and knowledge by acquaintance. The former is about how things are; the latter is about how things seem to us. Knowledge by description is universal and does not depend on any particular experience, while knowledge by acquaintance is specific to one’s own experiences.

We directly observe our sensations, emotions, and thoughts—these are all observations of objects we perceive from within our minds. We cannot know anything outside of these impressions because they are all we have access to through our senses. Hume goes on to explain that an impression is a sensory experience while an idea is an abstract idea formed from the senses. He gives examples of colors, sounds and tastes being impressions while numbers and geometrical shapes are ideas.

In his last major work Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (posthumously published in 1779), Hume attempted to reconcile religious belief with his skepticism about miracles and other supernatural phenomena by arguing that such phenomena were not contrary to reason but simply beyond the limits of human understanding.

What Do We Directly Observe According To David Hume?. (2023, Mar 05). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/qa/what-do-we-directly-observe-according-to-david-hume/