Structure of Hume ECHU

David Hume 1772: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec.

1: Of the Different Species of Philosophy. section
1-2 (p.1-2)
disctinction between two philosophies
a) moral philosophy (science of human nature): man born for action -> virtue as the most valuable, method is feeling b) man as reasonable being -> to form the understanding of oneself, dark thoughts get analyzed, method is thinking 2
3-7 (p.2-5)
what the effects of both philosohpies are and why we have to compromize both 3
8-12 (p.6-8)
a defence of the the exact philosophy: the most accurate and careful knowledge can lead to beauty and crafts and arts of all kind „The only method of freeing learning, at once, from these abstruse questions, is to enquire seriously into the nature of human understanding, and show, from an exact analysis of its powers and capacity, that it is by no means fitted for such remote and abstruse subjects.“ 4

13-14 (p.9-12)
what philosphy can do for us, what we can learn from philosophy by which the human mind is actuated in its operations 5
15-16 (p.13-14)
the conclusion of both (all) philosophies by precise philosophical thinking 6
17-18 (p.14)
forecast of the actual aim in this thesis
David Hume (1772): Eine Untersuchung über den menschlichen Verstand, hrsg. von P. Friesenhahn, Leipzig, 1893. (

David Hume(1772): An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec. 2: Of the Origin of Ideas. section
§ 1-3
The distinction of a)impressions (original sentiment) and b) ideas (imagination) 2
§ 4-5
What the mind can do – Ideas as copies of impressions
§ 6-7
Two pro arguments
§ 8
One contradictory phenomenon: colours
§ 9-12
The difference between impressions and ideas

David Hume(1772): An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec. 3: Of the Association of Ideas.
section paragraph title
1 § 1 The connect[x]ion of the
different ideas and how we
see that simple ideas are
bound together by an
universal principle
2 § 2-3 Principles of association:
a) resemblance
b) contiguity
c) cause / effect (causation)

David Hume(1772): An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec. 4: Sceptical Doubts concerning the Operations of the Understanding (Part 2)

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

section paragraph title
1 §14 The question still unanswered:
what is the foundation of all
conclusions from experience?
(New) answer: Experience
2 §15 The problem of conclusions
from experience
3 §16-17 How can induction of causality
be possible for matters of fact,
if there is no medium to be
4 §18 Two different kinds of
a) demonstrative
b) moral
5 §19-20 The induction problem:
generalization is founded on
similarity of actions
6 §21 Illegitimacy of causal relations
as foundation of matters of fact
7 §22-23 His summary of the chapter

David Hume (1772): An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, sec. 5: Sceptical Solutions of these Doubts sectionparagraphtitle
1§1-4Hume – the sceptic: summary of sceptical argument made in Sec. IV 2§5-6Custom / Habit: “all inferences from experience,[…], are effects of custom, not of reasoning” (§5.5) 3§7-9No infinitum: custom bases on the objects that we have sensed or remembered, and on the customary conjunction between that and another object (§5.8) 4§10-13Distinction between belief and fiction/imagination: different shades of liveliness (alike the distinction btw. ideas and impressions) 5§14-22The nature (of human mind) has established connect[x]ions between ideas and now also of customs: the three principles of assosiation: resemblance, causation and contiguity. These “operate to enliven thoughts about things that we already believe to exist” (p.193, appendices notes).

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