Lithuanian Culture Research Institute, Lithuania
David Hume on Two Different Species of Philosophy: Intersecting Epistemological and Psychological Approaches
The article ventures a detailed and critical exposition of the first three sections of David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, which represents, in a revised fashion, most of Book I of his Treatise of Human Nature. Through a careful examination of such core concepts of Hume’s epistemology as ‘per-ception,’ ‘impression,’ and ‘idea,’ the article arrives at the conclusion that the Humean theory of human understanding is best construed as a kind of methodological dualism: on the one hand, Hume proceeds as a philosopher making statements about the nature of human understanding with the force of a priori evidence, on the other, he acts as a natural scientist gathering empirical data, examining it, and drawing an inductive generalization therefrom. Hume is thus both a theoretical epistemologist and an empirical psychologist with a semi-disguised propensity to reduce the duties of the former to those of the latter.
Key Words: David Hume, epistemology, perception, impression, idea