Section ii

Of the Origin of Ideas

28thSeptember 2020

Perceptions

Perceptionsare the essence of human relationship with the world.

  • Impressions: direct and clear products ofimmediate experience
  • Ideas: representations of previous impressions;all our ideas or more feeble perceptions are copies of our impressions or more lively ones

No difference between impressions and ideas, only a question of force (Enquiry, II, §3).

There are no rules to know (unlike in Descartes’First Meditation), knowledge simply comes from the direct experience of and in the world; Hume is not saying how we have to acquire knowledge. We can’t have an idea without having had a previous corresponding impression.

Note: Hume uses “memory” as a synonym of “imagination”



Section III

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