Hart Contra Hume

‘…a series of mere sense impressions of consecutive events, like smoke rising from a fire, can be synthesized into the judgment that the relation between the two evens is one of causality only because the mine already possesses the concept of cause. Hence what the senses perceieve as only a sequence the mind understands as a real consequence. And the category of cause could not be abstracted from nature were it not already present in the mind’s perception of nature. In a broader sense, however, one can say that apart from the rational organization of experience in an articulated and continuous order, under concepts formally prior to empirical data, the world would be nothing more than a sea-storm of sense impressions. The senses would not be able to perceive sequences of events because they would not be able to perceive distinct events at all.’ (David Bentley Hart, ‘The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss’, p. 190-191)

As the title of this posts makes apparent, this seems to me to be a direct refutation of Hume’s ideas on perception of causality and the self – Hume argued that the self is just a bundle of sensations and impressions. Such a view of the self is simply, to borrow from Fr. Stanley Jaki, a heap of bricks.


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