One Causation

Human beings are normally prompted to reason, argue and draw conclusions on the nature, matters of fact, and day to day happenings. It therefore calls for reasoning and experience in order to draw proper conclusions of different matters of fact depending on the various causes and effects of such situations. Hume is one of such philosophers who endeavored to shed more light on why the relation of causes and effects is ideal in explaining facts. This write up, therefore, seeks to provide various positions held by Hume concerning cause and effect as being the source of reasoning and results of experience among other facts.  

According to Hume, in every matter of fact, circumstance or happening there must be at least a cause and an effect that are attributed to it. He further states that most of these happenings and facts are known to people through experience. He added that where a particular phenomenon is not known by an individual, its causes and effects can be used to draw conclusions about it as they are related (Hume & Buckle, 2007). 

Hume maintains that all argumentations regarding matters of fact appear to be based on the connection of their causes and effects. According to him, reasoning proves realities of different situations beyond the evidence of memory and senses. He further argued that reasoning is based on the possible causes and effects of a given situation. In his explanation he states that for every reality to occur, it must have been as a result of a particular circumstance or effect which can be reasoned upon. For instance, Hume illustrates that the fact that there is a watch in a desert island would suggest an earlier presence of someone in that place that caused such an object to be (Hume & Buckle, 2007).

Additionally, Hume argues that the knowledge of the relation of causes and effects arises entirely from experience. In explaining his point he states that one cannot discover causes or effects of a totally new object by reasoning or by carrying out accurate examination on its qualities without experience. He explains that if, for instance, one without tincture of nature is given two pieces of marble he can never know that the two bodies will adhere to each other such that they will require some force to separate them in a direct line while, on the other hand, they have a smaller resistance to lateral pressure (Hume & Buckle, 2007).   

On his explanation of why the first imagination of a particular effect is arbitrary, Hume states that the first imagination of a particular event or fact is based on personal feelings and perceptions rather than on objective reasoning or facts. He argued that this was because the mind could not, without experience, find the exact effect in the pre-supposed cause. He gave an example with the probabilities of the occurrences whenever a billiard ball is moving on a straight line towards the other. Some of these possibilities include that both balls move towards one direction, when the first one hits the second one and both balls will be remaining at rest. He argues that despite all these possibilities, preference can be given to a particular possibility though it may not be justifiable by reasoning (Hume & Buckle (2007).

Hume also argued that the connection of sensible qualities is accidental because of his observation that nature has various secretes that no one can understand except a few. According to him, nature can only be understood by some superficial qualities of its objects such as colors and weight. For instance, he stated that though it is possible to know the color and weight of bread, our senses cannot inform us of the qualities that make the bread fit for support and nourishment of human body. Equally, he notes that it is from the knowledge of the few qualities that nature reveals to us we can accidentally presume the unknown qualities. Hume further gave an illustration with falling substances from clouds which are snow-like. He argued that since they resemble snow, whose qualities are known, it cannot be prudently concluded that they posses some unknown qualities (Hume & Buckle, 2007).

Finally, Hume argued that the custom was the great guide of human life since custom was as a result of repeated practices of an activity or way of doing things and is widely acknowledged. He further explains that it is through custom that people become experts in performing particular activities and drawing conclusions (Hume & Buckle 2007).


In conclusion, this write up indicates that anything new to the human senses can never be perfectly concluded upon. Therefore, experience and reasoning are both needed in order to prove effects and causes of matters of fact.

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