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A Treatise of Human Nature

by David Hume

Per, relevant, and prerequisite Doug's
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
Full Text Review,
only AToHN
logic-, relations-, probability-, chance-, necessity-, idea-, belief-, cause- and effect-relevant selections

Reviewed by Doug Renselle
November, 2006.

Doug will review selections from Book I, Part III, Sections I-XV, pp. 75-163, first 15 of 16 sections, inclusive.

Book I - Of the Understanding
Part III - Of Knowledge and Probability
Sect. I - Of Knowledge

(In Doug's view, if you really want to know what Hume wrote about 'probability'
see Part IV, Sect. I - 'Of Scepticism with Regard to Reason,' on scepticism.
There, Hume explains probability in terms of scepticism AKA uncertainty.
His approach in Part IV, Sect. I is much more quantum and Doug offers abundant commentary.
Also see Hume's 'Of Scepticism with Regard to the Senses' on probabilistic essence of Classical vis-à-vis Quantum uncertainty.


Hume's major mistake is using modular classical negation inductively on probabilities,
quantumly are n¤n negative, n¤n cancelable!
This is an extreme tell, a macroscopic tell, of quintessence of quantum memes
as more highly evolved than classical notions.

Lesson: Thingk classically at your own risk!


Doug - 25Nov2008.)

AToHN Structure:
Book I
Parts I-IV This web page reviews Book I, Part III, Sect. I
Book II
Parts I-III
Book III
Parts I-III
Each of ten total AToHN Parts has multiple (i.e., ~90 total) Sections from a minimum of II Sections per Part to a maximum of XVI Sections per Part.

In Section I's seven paragraphs, Doug hits high points, classical vis-à-vis quantum issues and problematics which are classically insoluble.

Sect. I - Of Knowledge


Hume's Original AToHN Text.
We use several ref's here: on-line sources, and IndyPub's paperback.
Paperback has 541 total pages plus Appendix.

Doug's Comments.
Relevance: Doug's Review of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
 P75 Para 1 There are seven different kinds of philosophical relation [See Book I, Part I, Sect. V] , viz. resemblance, identity, relations of time and place, proportion in quantity or number, degrees in any quality, contrariety and causation. These relations may be divided into two classes; into such as depend entirely on the ideas, which we compare together, and such as may be chang'd without any change in the ideas. 'Tis from the idea of a triangle, that we discover the relation of equality, which its three angles bear to two right ones; and this relation is invariable, as long as our idea remains the same. On the contrary, the relations of contiguity and distance betwixt two objects may be chang'd merely by an alteration of their place, without any change on the objects themselves or on their ideas; and the place depends on a hundred different accidents, which cannot be foreseen by the mind. 'Tis the same case with identity and causation. Two objects, tho' perfectly resembling each other, and even appearing in the same place at different times, may be numerically different: And as the power, by which one object produces another, is never discoverable merely from their idea, 'tis evident cause and effect are relations, of which we receive information from experience, and not from any abstract reasoning or reflection. There is no single phaenomenon, even the most simple, which can be accounted for from the qualities of the objects, as they appear to us; or which we cou'd foresee without the help of our memory and experience.

Hume's seven "different kinds of philosophical relation:" (Brought forward from Book I, Part I, Sect. V.)

  1. resemblance (Hume posits: depend solely upon ideas; certainty is classically assessable)
  2. proportion in quantity or number (Hume posits: depend solely upon ideas; certainty is classically assessable)
  3. degrees in any quality (Hume posits: depend solely upon ideas; certainty is classically assessable)
  4. contrariety (Hume posits: depend solely upon ideas; certainty is classically assessable)
  5. identity (Hume posits: depends only upon experience)
  6. relations of time and place (Hume posits: depend only upon experience)
  7. causation (Hume posits: depends only upon experience)

In Book I, Part I, Sect. V, Hume posits that distance and relation appear philosophically incompatible. Why? Increased distance-separation is palpably "decreased-relation."

Students of Quantonics may observe how quantum~entanglement violates Hume's posit. Too it violates his dependence upon particular classical objective experience. Indeed, quantum~reality violates all three of his experience posits.

Book I, Part I, Sect. V has many other problems. A major one is that Hume treats formal negation as objective. In quantum reality, adhering Bergson's views, "negation is subjective." What do we mean by that? We can never affirm apparent absence of quantum flux is ideally, classically "not, nada, naught, null, etc." Flux is n¤t a classical numeric abstraction. We can only apparently cancel flux by adding two fluxes which are out of phase interrelation with one another. See Doug's Awesome Dirac Note and our Bohm SIOD review.

Quantonics HotMemeFlux comserves quantumly.™ Quantonics HotMeme™. See con.

Compare classical JC Maxwellian 'conservation' as a "zero sum game." Assumptions of ideal, classical "not, nada, naught, null, etc.," are innate in Maxwell's 'law' of classical conservation.

What about Hume's "idea posits?" Quantum~reality breaks two of those! Do you k~now which ones? Recall Aristotle's 2nd syllogistic 'law?' So Hume's contrariety relation is broken! What other one is broken? Proportion in quantity or number. Why? Quantum~reality issi qualitative. We can count quantal energy levels, but quanta and their interrelations are quantum phasistically qualitative: n¤ two are ever same and n¤ne is ever "identical to itself" longer than a Planck moment. Theoretically, we can show that, due to Bergsonian ensemble phase multiplicities that, durations of identity are even shorter than a Planck moment. See Bergson on duration.

So, in quantum~reality, we can retain two of Hume's relations, but we have to discard his notion "certainty is classically assessable," since quantum~reality is intrinsically uncertain. Why? Quantum~reality issi flux. Classical certainty assessment depends upon a notion and assumption of classical stoppability in order to assess and verify-repeatedly ideal, stabile, "zero momentum-" certainty. Quantum~reality issi unstoppable!

We retain resemblance and degrees in quality. Both of those are assessed quantumly using quantum~flux interrelationships which we call "phasicities." In that regard, then, quantum thought becomes radically simple, since resemblance issi assessed as phasistic "degrees in quality." And...quantum reality is wholly qualitative. Note how resemblance is a synonym of similar and similarity.

How did we achieve radical quantum~simplification? We went from Hume's seven relations to quantum~reality's one relation!

Humean Quantonics HotMeme
Quantumly, "Assess resemblance as quantum~phasicity. Simply, resemblance issi QSOistic."™
Humean Quantonics HotMeme

Please ponder, too, rapid changings in resemblancings as quantum~cha¤s. Doug - 18Jul2012.

HotMeme™ and anchor added by Doug 15May2009. Updated 18Jul2012.

See QSO as an acronym.

Adepts will recall that a similar result is achieved re: Aristotle's syllogisms.

Bottom line: Hume assumed reality is classically objective. It isn't!

Doug 11-12Nov2006.

 PP75-6 Para 2 It appears, therefore, that of these seven philosophical relations, there remain only four, which depending solely upon ideas, can be the objects of knowledge said certainty. These four are resemblance, contrariety, degrees in quality, and proportions in quantity or number. Three of these relations are discoverable at first sight, and fall more properly under the province of intuition than demonstration. When any objects resemble each other, the resemblance will at first strike the eye, or rather the mind; and seldom requires a second examination. the case is the same with contrariety, and with the degrees of any quality. No one can once doubt but existence and non- existence destroy each other, and are perfectly incompatible and contrary. And tho' it be impossible to judge exactly of the degrees of any quality, such as colour, taste, heat, cold, when the difference betwixt them is very small: yet 'tis easy to decide, that any of them is superior or inferior to another, when their difference is considerable. And this decision we always pronounce at first sight, without any enquiry or reasoning.

Hume's dialectical analyticity makes a huge error here!

He tries to convince us that objects' similarities exegetize a classical axiom:

That existence and non- existence destroy each other, and further that they...

are perfectly incompatible and contrary each other.

Quantum~thought and ~gn¤sticism show us that existence emerges from n¤nexistence. Quantum existence cann¤t be without quantum~n¤nexistence! Essence here is that quantum waves interfere with each other, and total interference hides those waves. Quantonics Key Enabler: Quantum~interference hides ("makes silence," "makes apparent invisibility," and "makes darkness"), but quantum~interference in n¤ classical sense offers means for quantum~waves to destroy each other. Quantonics HotMeme Key Enabler™.

Doug - 12-15Nov2006.

 P76 Para 2 We might proceed, after the same manner, in fixing the proportions of quantity or number, and might at one view observe a superiority or inferiority betwixt any numbers, or figures; especially where the difference is very great and remarkable. As to equality or any exact proportion, we can only guess at it from a single consideration; except in very short numbers, or very limited portions of extension; which are comprehended in an instant, and where we perceive an impossibility of falling into any considerable error. In all other cases we must settle the proportions with some liberty, or proceed in a more artificial manner.

See Henri Louis Bergson on association, extensity, and simultaneity.

Hume has fallen prey to one of dialectic's key disablers: "we perceive an impossibility of falling into any considerable error."

That is a Key SOM-CR Disabler™ since practice of dialectic guarantees one's falling into considerable Error. Jesus said "Dialectic is error." Heraclitus said, "Dialectic is war."

Another, more rigorous, way to ponder this: reality is quantum~uncertain at all scales of reality, so there is always a possibility of falling into error.

Quantum~gn¤stic topos explains like this: hylicism and psychism use dialectic to thingk, while pneumatism calls dialectic "Error." See The Gospel of Truth.

See Doug's list of Key SOM-CR Disablers™ on our How to Tap Into Reserve Energy web page.

Doug - 15Nov2006.

 P76 Para 3 I have already I observ'd', that geometry, or the art, by which we fix the proportions of figures; tho' it much excels both in universality and exactness, the loose judgments of the senses and imagination; yet never attains a perfect precision and exactness. It's first principles are still drawn from the general appearance of the objects; and that appearance can never afford us any security, when we examine, the prodigious minuteness of which nature is susceptible. Our ideas seem to give a perfect assurance, that no two right lines can have a common segment; but if we consider these ideas, we shall find, that they always suppose a sensible inclination of the two lines, and that where the angle they form is extremely small, we have no standard of a I @ right line so precise as to assure us of the truth of this proposition. 'Tis the same case with most of the primary decisions of the mathematics. Hume appropriately worries about geometry's and mathematics' self-hubristic 'credentials.'
P76 Para 4  There remain, therefore, algebra and arithmetic as the only sciences, in which we can carry on a chain of reasoning to any degree of intricacy, and yet preserve a perfect exactness and certainty. We are possest of a precise standard, by which we can judge of the equality and proportion of numbers; and according as they correspond or not to that standard, we determine their relations, without any possibility of error.' When two numbers are so combin'd, as that the one has always an unite answering to every unite of the other, we pronounce them equal; and 'tis for want of such a standard of equality in extension, that geometry can scarce be esteem'd a perfect and infallible science.

Hume's "...preserve a perfect exactness and certainty," he should have questioned too.

All formal language systems, due their formality, have lost their Quality, have lost their "direct connection with reality."

Further, quantum reality is radically uncertain and supports no classical notions of "...perfect exactness and certainty,"

Doug - 15Nov2006.

 P77 Para 1 But here it may not be amiss to obviate a difficulty, which may arise from my asserting, that tho' geometry falls short of that perfect precision and certainty, which are peculiar to arithmetic and algebra, yet it excels the imperfect judgments of our senses and imagination. the reason why I impute any defect to geometry, is, because its original and fundamental principles are deriv'd merely from appearances; and it may perhaps be imagin'd, that this defect must always attend it, and keep it from ever reaching a greater exactness in the comparison of objects or ideas, than what our eye or imagination alone is able to attain. I own that this defect so far attends it, as to keep it from ever aspiring to a full certainty: But since these fundamental principles depend on the easiest and least deceitful appearances, they bestow on their consequences a degree of exactness, of which these consequences are singly incapable. 'Tis impossible for the eye to determine the angles of a chiliagon to be equal to 1996 right angles, or make any conjecture, that approaches this proportion; but when it determines, that right lines cannot concur; that we cannot draw more than one right line between two given points; it's mistakes can never be of any consequence. And this is the nature and use of geometry, to run us up to such appearances, as, by reason of their simplicity, cannot lead us into any considerable error.

What is the principal and principle feature of plane geometry? Equality! All other classical plane geometrical tautologies find their bases in a simple assumption that classical equality 'exists' and is 'real.'

What is a principal feature of quantum reality. Absolute flux!

What does absolute flux say about geometric equality? There is n¤ such classical notion in quantum reality!

Without a postulate of 'equality' plain geometry as discipline and methodology fails massively.

From any quantum complementarospective, plane geometry is simply bogus...from any getgo.

Why? Plane geometry assumes reality is classically stable and holds still. Quantum reality is unstoppable and may not be conventionally and conveniently held still.

Doug - 11Nov2006.

  P77 Para 2 I shall here take occasion to propose a second observation concerning our demonstrative reasonings, which is suggested by the same subject of the mathematics. 'Tis usual with mathematicians, to pretend, that those ideas, which are their objects, are of so refin'd and spiritual a nature, that they fall not under the conception of the fancy, but must be comprehended by a pure and intellectual view, of which the superior faculties of the soul are alone capable. the same notion runs thro' most parts of philosophy, and is principally made use of to explain oar abstract ideas, and to shew how we can form an idea of a triangle, for instance, which shall neither be an isoceles nor scalenum, nor be confin'd to any particular length and proportion of sides. 'Tis easy to see, why philosophers are so fond of this notion of some spiritual and refin'd perceptions; since by that means they cover many of their absurdities, and may refuse to submit to the decisions of clear ideas, by appealing to such as are obscure and uncertain. But to destroy this artifice, we need but reflect on that principle so oft insisted on, that all our ideas are copy'd from our impressions. For from thence we may immediately conclude, that since all impressions are clear and precise, the ideas, which are copy'd from them, must be of the same nature, and can never, but from our fault, contain any thing so dark and intricate. An idea is by its very nature weaker and fainter than an impression; but being in every other respect the same, cannot imply any very great mystery.' If its weakness render it obscure, 'tis our business to remedy that defect, as much as possible, by keeping the idea steady and precise; and till we have done so, 'tis in vain to pretend to reasoning and philosophy.

Said vis-à-vis Unsaid:

In our view, here, Hume's "If its weakness render it obscure, 'tis our business to remedy that defect, as much as possible, by keeping the idea steady and precise; and till we have done so, 'tis in vain to pretend to reasoning and philosophy," is simply inadequate.

In a similar sense as an idea may leave much unsaid about an impression's said, an impression may leave much unsaid about said's total reality. An iceberg's visible tip is 'said,' while its hidden complement (more ice) and that complement's real complement (water, earth, solar system, Milky Way, and quantum vacuum flux, etc.) represent reality's unsaid.

Any impression, idea, notion, meme, memeo — whose description is always partial in quantum reality — has to be really shown as a quanton(unsaid,said). Further,

Quantonics HotMeme™ Another very simple way of describing quantum partiality is, "What is unsaid is radically more important than what is said." All quantum descriptions can only be partial and their potential quantum~redemptive fullness exceeds their partiality. Quantonics HotMeme™.

See enthymeme and enthymemetic.

Doug - 15Nov2006.

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©Quantonics, Inc., 2006-2024 Rev. 16Sep2013  PDR Created: 11Nov2006  PDR
(23Feb2007 rev - Add p. 77, para. 2 comments anchor 'Said vav Unsaid.')
(17Aug2008 rev - Reformat.)
(25Nov2008 rev - Near page top, direct readers to Hume's Part IV on scepticism.)
(24Feb2009 rev - Reemphasize page top red text on Hume's major mistake, Hume's major Error!)
(15May2009 rev - Add p. 75 para. 1 'Seven Hume Relations Quantumly as One' anchor and HotMeme™.)
(28Oct2009 rev - See QSO acronym link update to page 75 para. 1 comments.)
(10Dec2009 rev - Add p 77, para 2 commentary anchor to 'Unsaid.')
(11May2010 rev - Add 'enthymeme' and 'enthymemetic' links to p. 77, para. 2 commentary.)
(24Sep2011 rev - Add 'Assess Resemblance HotMeme™' anchor on page  PP75-6 Para 1 commentary.)
(18Jul2012 rev - Add a 'resemblance similarity' comment near unfolding Hotmeme™ of 'resemblance as quantum~phasicity.')
(27Aug2012 rev - Add 'Hume Used Classical Negation' anchor.)
(16Sep2013 rev - Add p. 75 , Paragraph 1 Doug's Commentary anchor: "Humes Anti Gnostic Seven Philosophical Relations.")