Auch heute topaktuell
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Das Drama über die blinde Suche nach einem scapegoat, jemandem, dem man die Schuld für gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen, ökonomische Krisen und persönliches Unglück in die Schuhe schieben kann, ist leider noch immer aktuell.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
A man in a fit of anger, is actuated in a very different manner from one who only thinks of that emotion. If you tell me, that any person is in love, I easily understand your meaning, and form a just conception of his situation; but never can mistake that conception for the real disorders and agitations of the passion. When we reflect on our past sentiments and affections, our thought is a faithful mirror, and copies its objects truly; but the colours which it employs are faint and dull, in comparison of those in which our original perceptions were clothed. It requires no nice discernment or metaphysical head to mark the distinction between them. -from "Of the Origin of Ideas" David Hume may well be the most significant philosopher ever to write in the English language: his arguments dramatically influenced both scientific and religious thinking, and much of what he wrote-particular concerning free will, political theory, and religion-still sounds startlingly modern. This 1748 treatise is the great thinker's thinking on thinking. What can we know, and how can we be sure we really know it? Is there ever any "truth" outside of what we experience inside our own heads? Does experience lead to knowledge, or does experience in fact foil and fool our understanding of the world? Deeply empiricist and skeptical, Hume's ideas continue to be reflected in everything from modern psychology to modern science fiction. His work remains essential reading for modern armchair philosophers. Scottish philosopher, historian, and essayist DAVID HUME (1711-1776) also wrote A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740) and An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).
David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) - 25 August 1776) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism. Beginning with A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), Hume strove to create a naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge derives solely from experience. This places him with Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Berkeley, as a British Empiricist.
Hume argued that inductive reasoning and belief in causality cannot be justified rationally; instead, they result from custom and mental habit. We never actually perceive that one event causes another, but only experience the "constant conjunction" of events. This problem of induction means that to draw any causal inferences from past experience it is necessary to presuppose that the future will resemble the past, a presupposition which cannot itself be grounded in prior experience.
An opponent of philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passions rather than reason govern human behaviour, famously proclaiming that "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions". Hume was also a sentimentalist who held that ethics are based on emotion or sentiment rather than abstract moral principle. He maintained an early commitment to naturalistic explanations of moral phenomena, and is usually taken to have first clearly expounded the is-ought problem, or the idea that a statement of fact alone can never give rise to a normative conclusion of what ought to be done.
Hume also denied that humans have an actual conception of the self, positing that we experience only a bundle of sensations, and that the self is nothing more than this bundle of causally-connected perceptions. Hume's compatibilist theory of free will takes causal determinism as fully compatible with human freedom. His views on philosophy of religion, including his rejection of miracles and the argument from design for God's existence, were especially controversial for their time.
Hume influenced utilitarianism, logical positivism, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive science, theology, and many other fields and thinkers. Immanuel Kant credited Hume as the inspiration who had awakened him from his "dogmatic slumbers".