Titel: A Treatise on Human Nature (v. 1)
Verlag: General Books LLC
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Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1874. Excerpt: ... Yet it is admitted that there is an idea of number not made up of impressions. exceed them. What consists of parts is distinguishable into them, and what is distinguishable is separable. But whatever we may imagine of the thing, the idea of a grain of sand is not distinguishable nor separable into twenty, much less into a thousand, ten thousand, or an infinito number of different ideas. 'Tis the same case with the impressions of the senses as with the ideas of the imagination. Pat a spot of ink upon paper, fix your eye upon that spot, and retire to such a distance that at last you lose sight of it; 'tis plain that the moment before it vanished the image or impression was perfectly indivisible. 'Tis not for want of rays of light striking on our eyes that the minute parts of distant bodies convey not any sensible impression; but because they are removed beyond that distance at which their impressions were reduced to a minimum, and were incapable of any further diminution. A microscope or telescope, which renders them visible, produces not any new rays of light, but only spreads those which always flowed from them; and by that means both gives parts to impressions, which to the naked eye appear simple and uncompounded, and advances to a minimum what was formerly imperceptible.'1 (Part ri. §1.) 266. In this passage it will be seen that Hume virtually yields the point as regards number. When he is told of the thousandth or ten thousandth part of a grain of sand he has 'a distinct idea of these numbers and of their different proportions,' though to this idea no distinct 'image' corresponds; in other words, though the idea is not a copy of any impression. It is of such parts as parts of the grain of sand--as parts of a' compound impression '--that he can form no idea, and for the reas...About the Author:
David Hume was an eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher, historian, and essayist, and the author of A Treatise of Human Nature, considered by many to be one of the most important philosophical works ever published.
Hume attended the University of Edinburgh at an early age and considered a career in law before deciding that the pursuit of knowledge was his true calling. Hume s writings on rationalism and empiricism, free will, determinism, and the existence of God would be enormously influential on contemporaries such as Adam Smith, as well as the philosophers like Schopenhauer, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Popper, who succeeded him. Hume died in 1776.
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