David Hume

Hume, David (1711-1776)   Born and educated in Eddinburgh, Scotland, Hume studied law and business but never received a degree. As was true of his life, Hume maintained that all knowledge comes from experience. Like Berkeley, Hume noted that we cannot experience the physical world directly. You can’t prove that a table exists after you leave a room. However, for Hume, not all perceptions are equal. He distinguished between impressions (strong perceptions) and ideas (caused by weak perceptions. Hume also proposed 3 laws of association: contiguity, resemblance, and causality. Like Locke and Berkeley, Hume noted that events which happen together in time and space associated together. Another factor impacting association is resemblance (similarity). To these, Hume added a third factor: causality (the ability to associate a wound with the pain that follows).


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