Hume’s theory of causation, its relation to the simple regularity theory of laws of nature and the problems that the latter theory faces.
This essay will disscuss Hume’s theory of causation and its relation to the simple regularity theory of laws of nature. Firstly, it will describe Hume’s theory concerning causation. Secondly, it will define laws of nature and give some examples. And finally, it will describe the simple regularity theory of laws of nature and look at the relation of this theory and the causation theory. David Hume created many important philosophical works and one of the most famous is the Treatise of Human Nature. It is divided into three books, the first two of them were published in 1739 and the third book was published in 1740. Each book is concerned with different problems. The first volume discusses understanding, the second deals with passions and the third with morals. The section ‘Of Knowledge and Probability’ of the Treatise gives the necessary explaining of causation. However, the meaning of the word ‘probability’ in this case does not coincide with that in mathematics, because Hume dealt with data obtained without direct observation. Therefore, this knowledge was uncertain and was not connected with mathematics and logic. Hume considered that all philosophical relations could be divided into two groups. The first group included those that depended only on ideas and the second group contained those that did not depend. In other words, the first group contains relations that concern certain knowledge and the other concerns uncertain knowledge. We are interested in the second group, which includes so-called spatio-temporal relations and causal relations. The philosopher believed that there existed seven types of such relations. They are resemblance, proportion in quantity or number, degrees in any quality, contrariety, identity, relations of time and space and causation. Spatio-temporal and causal relations here are...
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