Hume's Moderate Skepticism

Topics: Skepticism, Philosophy, Scientific method Pages: 3 (1088 words) Published: January 17, 2011
Hume’s reasoning on skeptical philosophy puts forward a neat framework of the reasons, nature and outcomes of such argumentation by examining its basic principles and attitudes. I will explain his opinions on skepticism and thus his attitude towards philosophy and the possibility of knowledge. Hume, in his work “Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding”, expresses the importance of a process of reasoning that can lead at least to some confident and convincing beliefs on something. That is, of course, is attainable with a degree of skepticism, but not an extreme one. Doubting, questioning and thorough examination of a concept is essential for good reasoning, which in ordinary life people generally avoid when forming beliefs. Nonetheless, Hume argues, the slightest philosophy is enough to destroy such unprocessed –and potentially wrong or lacking –beliefs in people’s minds which they formed without any further questioning and doubts at all, for philosophical doctrines are nothing but organized and corrected versions of the thoughts of everyday life. This kind of skepticism, nonetheless, is related to the extents of metaphysical theories, and the opposition to inquiries that aim to search for things beyond experience. That is to say, it is related to how and in what ways philosophy functions –and should function –. From this what may follow is; being extremely doubtful and as a result having a belief on the certainty of nothing at all does not show that one is a better questioner, doubter, or a philosopher. All these points are to distinguish between methodological reasoning/doubting and extreme skepticism. What makes a good questioner then? Hume believes that a good question is one that has the capacity to be answered in a way that would provide some belief, some knowledge as a result. The most important point, the main objective here is –or at least should be –for knowledge to be attainable. Thus, a good questioner is someone...
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