Hume’s Theory of Sense Impressions
Hume’s arguments that we are merely a result of the sense impressions that we experience suggest that we do not really experience the world nor is there an existence of a self or a world out there since we cannot prove that there objects possessing primary qualities in existence (Passer et al 110). However there are a number of flaws that can be identified in this argument and as such prov e that there is indeed an existence of a “ self” in reference to individuals and by default proving the existence of what he referred to as “ a world out there”.
The main basis of the argument against Hume’s theory is actually based on the pointers that he makes within the same theory. He states that we do not experience the world but instead only experience our sense impressions (what he terms as secondary qualities). However, for us to experience these secondary qualities there must be an existence of primary qualities from which they are derived from (Passer et al 118). Otherwise his argument would make no sense as it would claim that the sense impressions we experience pop up from no where in particular and into being. In order for sense impression to exist, there must be the existence of a source from which these impressions are derived from (Passer et al 120).
The source itself must also possess primary qualities and thus this is proof that there is actually a world out there with objects that have primary qualities (Passer et al 125). The sense impressions that we experience can also be argued to be as a result of the tinterpretation of the true impressions that they are derived from and in order for this to happen there must be an existence of a “ self” which is responsible for the interpretation (Passer et al 127). In conclusion, it can be said by making the argument for the existence of sense impressions, this theory by default creates room for the argument of the existence of objects with primary qualities.
Francis Bacon was a famous philosopher who was also involved in politics during his time and came up with a theory he referred to as Idols of the mind. These were the various traps laid down by conventional thinking that prevented individuals from seeking out the truth in a subject and induced them into being comfortable with the information that has already been presented to them by various sources within the society (Jackson 52). Through introducing these traps to the public, Francis hoped to open the eyes of individuals stuck in their ways to not merely accept the facts as handed to them, but to go out and seek the deeper truth (Jackson Pg53). Though this can be considered to be a noble act, one has to be able to draw the line somewhere and accept that the knowledge they have already been equipped with is indeed the truth.
Though the idols of the mind were painted in a menacing demeanor one cannot remain wary of the forever and an individual has to be capable of reaching a point where they are justified in making a hypothesis from the knowledge they have already obtained (Jackson 62). Identifying this point in time can be done through a number of ways with the first being acceptance. Acceptance in the fact that though there may still be a lot more that one can learn, it does not mean that what they have already learnt does not have some truth in it. Another means of identifying an end point to the idols of the mind is proof. If there is evidence that proves the information that one has is true then it should perceived as such (that is, the truth). The idols of the mind should simply advocate for an open mind but not the distrust of everything that has already been taught to an individual (Jackson 68).
Passer, Michael et al. Psychology: Frontiers and Applications. First Canadian Edition.
McGraw-Hill: Toronto, 2003. Print.
Ross Jackson. The Companion to Shaker of the Speare: The Francis Bacon Story,
England: Book Guild Publishing, 2005. Print.
Hume’s Theory of Sense Impressions