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  1. In his philosophy, David Hume tries to build, or at least begin to build, a ” comprehensive science of man.” In order to approach such a broad task, Hume divides human nature into three main components: cognition, affects, and morality.

    Hume belongs to the empirical tradition of Modern European philosophy. This means that for him the logical work of reason is meaningless without the foundation of experience in the broadest sense of the term. About Hume, we can say that he discovered psychology before it was formed into an independent science. He calls the entire content of our consciousness a “bundle of perceptions” (perception is a figurative” unit ” of perception). They appear as a result of experience (there is nowhere else for them to come from, Hume rejects the theory of “innate ideas”). Perceptions are divided into two inseparable types: impressions and ideas. Impressions are vivid, but ideas are dimmer. Impressions appear directly due to sensory perception, and after some time, after passing through the” filters ” of imagination, associations, causal relationships, they turn into ideas. Hume suggests opening up the mechanics of perception to biologists, not philosophers.

    Nature has endowed man with the ability to affect (we know how to be angry, love, suffer). This field of activity belongs to the unconscious component of our nature and is inherent in us from birth. Not only are affects able to influence the formation of ideas, but they are also the strongest motive for our actions.

    Thus, Hume aims to overthrow the dogma of the rational component of our essence. To complete the task, Hume takes a skeptical position in relation to our knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular. The philosopher argues that since all our knowledge is derived from sensory data (and our feelings, as we know, are very variable), then we can not talk about any objective knowledge. At the same time, we are naturally endowed with the ability to accumulate and structure knowledge. Our memory and the principles of association and causation mentioned above are responsible for this.

    According to Hume, new knowledge is fixed as a result of repeated repetition of the same action. This action must take place under the same conditions. At some point, the mind gets used to expecting the observed result and therefore believes in the universality of the developed scheme. In logic, this method is called induction. Hume sees the weakness of this method in habit and faith, because it is this pair that underlies most of the knowledge. Often, the human mind substitutes a prior action for the actual cause. So there are dogmas based on the belief in a false cause of events. Hume is skeptical of the belief in the possibility of establishing a true causal relationship.

    Finally, the last section of Hume's philosophy is concerned with morality. Despite the fact that the theory of knowledge is traditionally given more importance in the academic environment, we can find the following in Hume's own text:: “morality is the subject that interests us most of all others.” Hume leaves the theory of knowledge as the foundation for the construction of moral philosophy.

    Hume tries to overcome the opposition between the natural and the artificial. He argues that the moral laws that govern human behavior, both on an individual and social level, arise from selfish motives inherent in us by nature. Hume asks the question: how did people overcome their natural egoism and create states in which the public good is valued above private success? In answering this question, Hume reveals himself as a kind British gentleman and appeals to the human capacity for sympathy, which allows you to stand up to other people's positions and form generally accepted laws. However, it is not possible for Hume to find any absolute law that can be established once and for all. Morality is conventional in nature and depends on the economic, political, and historical context.

    Hume tries to describe the unity of all the processes of human life and discovers culture, in the broadest sense of the word, which is an essential characteristic of human nature. Culture as a source of development and impermanence of human society in general and individual life in particular. The idea, which would seem trivial in modern times, was completely rejected by contemporaries in the first half of the 18th century.

    This is what the program theses of Hume's philosophy look like. Of course, in his texts you can find much more topics for reflection. For a quick introduction to his philosophy, I would recommend reading an abridged version of Hume's “Treatise on Human Nature,” written succinctly by Hume himself for the general public. If you open the “Treatise” itself, you will see a rather voluminous text written in a high-quality and lively literary language, rare for philosophical texts. In addition, Hume's philosophy contains a number of works on a religious theme, in which the Scotsman appears as an ardent anti-clerical.

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