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A Treatise of Human Nature

by David Hume
1739

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
starting
November, 2006.

Doug will review selections from Book I, Part III, Sections I-XV, pp. 75-163, first 15 of 16 sections, inclusive.
As added review support Doug will review selections from Book I, Part IV, Sections I-VII, pp. 169-237, all sections of Part IV, inclusive.

Book I - Of the Understanding
Part IV - Of
the Sceptical and Other Systems of Philosophy
SECT. I. - Of Scepticism with Regard to Reason

AToHN Structure:
Book I
Parts I-IV This web page reviews Book I, Part IV, 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 twelve paragraphs, Doug hits high points, classical vis-à-vis quantum issues and problematics, especially cause and effect, which are classically insoluble.

SECT. I. - Of Scepticism with Regard to Reason

IndyPub's
Page
Numbers

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
.
See our color codes.
 P169 Para 1 In all demonstrative sciences the rules are certain and infallible; but when we apply them, our fallible said uncertain faculties are very apt to depart from them, and fall into error. We must, therefore, in every reasoning form a new judgment, [Recapitulate] as a check or controul on our first judgment or belief; and must enlarge our view to comprehend a kind of history of all the instances, wherein our understanding has deceiv'd us, compar'd with those, wherein its testimony was just and true. Our reason must be considered as a kind of cause, of which truth [Affectation] is the natural effect [Outcomings]; but such-a-one as by the irruption of other causes, and by the inconstancy of our mental powers [Inconstancy], may frequently be prevented. By this means all knowledge [sceptically] degenerates [rather, quantumly ascends...] into probability [rather, ensemblings of probabilityings...]; and this probability is greater or less, according to our experience of the veracity or [sceptical] deceitfulness of our understanding, and according to the simplicity or intricacy of the question.

Our embedded brackets with bold red key words to correlate comments and original text.

We must warn you that what Hume writes here about probability and absolute uncertainty as scepticism, to him, is invalid.

Caution: Hume, in AToHN never uses these phrases:

"absolute scepticism"

"absolute uncertainty"

So, it appears as though Doug is putting those phrases into Hume's mouth. If you want to be hard-nosed about it, we have to agree. But if you read Hume carefully, we believe you can make a case that Hume's version of scepticism as "unreasonable" based on probability is, in his opinion, a bad way to go. Why? It takes us toward Cratylean extreme uncertainty and away from Hume's revered 'truth by way of Humean careful and assiduous 'reason'.'

Doug's whole point here is that those two phrases appear n¤whæræ in AToHN! While Doug was doing this review, he spent some time in Anthony Gottlieb's The Dream of Reason. Also Simon Blackburn's Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy. Cratylus' version of absolute scepticism (e.g., to any philosophical query one may only "wag one's finger...") arose in those texts. Doug carried that notion over into this review as a radical depiction of what Doug believes Hume is attempting to describe here. See our graphic exemplar just below. Just want readers to be aware that Doug's putting words in Hume's mouth is provisional but narratively intentional.

Note that Hume does use these phrases in AToHN:

"absolute necessity"

"absolutely unintelligible"

"absolutely destroys"

"absolutely impossible"

"absolute perfection"

"absolute darkness"

"absolute contradiction"

"absolutely requisite"

"absolutely inseparable"

"absolute belief"

"absolute sway and authority"

"absolute unity"

"absolutely condemn"

"absolutely incompatible"

"absolute...proof"

"absolute certainty"

"absolutely essential"

"absolutely inconsistent"

"absolute subversion"

"absolutely fail"

"absolute government"

"absolute power"

"absolutely insuperable"

If one performs a similar exercise on Hume's use of 'uncertain,' a clear message projects itself: Hume sees uncertainty as error, weakness, and almost failure. Too, he admits nature is uncertain, and here we see how 'science' sadly perceives nature as "absurd." Those invalid classical thoughts mislead humans into viewing selves as superior nature and find within themselves a need to 'control nature,' e.g., what we see happening with 'global warming' now, c. 2007.

Quantonics and quantum~reality show us that quantum~uncertainty is incredibly more manageable, powerful, and viable in understanding and cooperating with real physial Nature. Indeed, classical certainty is failure and is actually Humean and dialectical. Just watch what happens and affirm Doug's words.

Hume would say "Certainty is his principle feature of intelligence."

Paul Pietsch says, "Indeterminacy is the principal feature of intelligence."

Doug and quantum reality agree with Pietsch, and Doug intends to ridicule Hume's DIQheaded toddleresque notions.
Why?
That's what Parmenides, Plato and Aristotle did to human kind in order establish dialectical 'truth' as their principle feature of intellect.

We must undo all of their DIQheaded folderol! We must bring quality back!


Doug - 26Apr2007.

To us, in Quantonics, what he writes here is close kin of quantum theory and quantum reality as we understand it now. We are amazed how his mind understands it well, yet rejects it as a possible m¤daling of quantum~reality. In our view Hume's writing on scepticism as absolute uncertainty is a tale similar Sokal's paper Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity which appeared in Social Text (recanted in Lingua Franca), and more recently Daniel C. Dennett's phony Dr. Faith in Chapter 8, Section 5 of Dennett's 2006 Breaking the Spell. Notice how Sokal's ruse paper's title describes quantum~reality to a tee. Classicists often refer natural reality "a ruse," and "absurd." Some of them are illiterate enough to say s~hæ is "wrong!"

[Recapitulate:] Pretending his own version of a scepticist's view, Hume is insisting here that we cannot run on 'scientific automatic' resting our laurels on 'first principles,' rather we must quantum~recapitulate every assessment that we make. We should go further, and express a reality that any assessment, if real, changes from moment to moment, so made on one day we find omnifference on another.

[Affectation:] Hume's sceptical truth we view rather, as quantum~plausibilistic affectings; be aware though that Hume may be rusing (as a role-played sceptical ruse; to Hume as a dialectician cause and absolute uncertainty are necessarily antithetical) 'cause' subjectively here, and that would be a good assumption since he is explaining a sceptic's view of reality as probabilistic and thus subjective (Hume-role-play-sceptically argues subjective as ideally, absolutely uncertain), n¤n objective (absolutely certain)...

[Outcominigs:] Hume's sceptical effect we view rather quantum~really as, quantum~likelihoodistic outcomings; similar memes here, i.e., effect as quantum~subjective...; a powerful hint of quantum~ensemble affectorings...

[Inconstancy:]...and inconstancies of that with which our mental powers are reasoning and assessing...all of reality, indeed, is in absolute flux, and thus is a kind of radical stochasticity. We can say, Quantonics HotMeme™ "Quantum~reality's absolute flux issi radical stochasticity."™ Quantonics HotMeme

We have heard words similar from others re quantum reality's metapragmaphenomena: "absurd, ersatz, faux, perverse, equivocal, prevaricative, nonsense, egregious, insane, spurious, etc." Now we hear Hume calling it "degenerate."

Why? Hume has made enormous progress. He has managed to learn and intuit how reality lives at Platt Holden's "Edge of Now." Hume sees ensembles of micro causes and effects at now's edge. He abhors notions of a priori, and that self-disabling act imposes mechanical concepts of a posteriori upon him. But what have Peirce and James and their pragmatism shown us? That those of us who are observing past's history from a vantage of a not quite now, must turn around and commence expecting futures' potentia from unlimited quantum~likelihood~omnistributionings' peaqlo affectorings of k~nowings' edgings.

Hume still believes stux is crux. But reality is trying to help us learn that flux is crux! Hume whetted his whistle on probability, then ran back to a deluded classical safety of 'zero momentum's' stux sux. Too he idealized scepticism dialectically as "absolute uncertainty." Hume believes dichon(ostensible_potential_for_absolute_certainty, absolute_uncertainty).

Aside - 28Nov2006:

Simon Blackburn (Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy) and Anthony Gottlieb (The Dream of Reason) offer us a nearly perfect exemplar of a person who believes in absolute uncertainty: Cratylus!

Allow us to quote Blackburn, "Cratylus (5th c. bc) Greek philosopher, some times thought to have been a teacher of Plato before Socrates. He is famous for capping the doctrine of Heraclitus that you cannot step into the same river twice by adding that you cannot step into the same river once: the river is changing and gone even as a single event of stepping occurs. The point is that reality is utterly particular (one individual event, one moment of time, one individual thing after another). Any adequate thought would have to match the flux with change of its own1Doug note, so any attempt to categorize reality is like trying to cage the winds [SOM thingk requires reality to stop so that a thought can hold still. Doug.]. He is also represented in Plato's dialogue Cratylus as holding a doctrine of the 'right name' of things, although the proper conclusion of his views was that the flux cannot be captured in words [Quantonics uses quantons to make wordings more animate. Part of QELR is to use present participlings to remind us of reality's Planck rate quantum~flux animacy. Doug.]. According to Aristotle (Metaphysics G, iv. 1010) he eventually held that since 'regarding that which everywhere in every respect is changing nothing could truly 'be affirmed,' the right course is just to stay silent and wag one's finger. Plato's theory of forms can be seen in part as a reaction against the impasse to which Cratylus was driven." Page 87, OxUP paperback, 1996. Our footnote. Our bracketed comments.

Cratylus' absoluteness of change, and uncertainty borne of change, appear exemplary of Hume's ideal scepticist.

Quantonics offers ways to fathom what for them was unfathomable. Classical: one flux, one river, etc. Quantum: unlimited fluxings, unlimited quanta, etc. Everywhere-excluded-middle-dissociative state-ic monism disables any mind. Quantum everywhere~included~middle~associative animacy and heterogeneity enable one's quantum stage. Doug - 28Nov2006.

We are sure you will enjoy Gottlieb's three page discussion of Cratylus, Heraclitus, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle re flux. See pp. 49-51 of Gottlieb's The Dream of Reason. He shows how Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle distorted Cratylus' and Heraclitus' views. Plato is a genuine deceiver, as Gottlieb shows. Plato puts words in Cratylus' and Heraclitus' mouths. (Plato would do anything to put forward his views of truth as absolute; quantum reality claims and shows us that truth, instead, is an agent of its own change.) Doug's quantum work affirms what both Cratylus and Heraclitus were saying about flux. To Doug, in retrospect, and without respect, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle regarding issues of change and flux were at best deceivers. They did not fathom reality's essence. Cratylus and Heraclitus, in Doug's view, did fathom reality's essence.

For our work with Hume and his classical views of reality we need at least these classes of reason re our thoughts on both certainty and uncertainty:

  • classical certainty (state-ic dichon(certainty, uncertainty))
  • classical uncertainty (some aspect of reality is either certain or reality is uncertain)
  • classical quantum uncertainty (uncertainty is only an issue at meso-atomic, atomic, and sub-atomic scales)
  • Quantonics' quantum~uncertainty (animate fluxing uncertainty is partial and scales all reality)
  • absolute uncertainty (sceptics claim this disables all thought and all reason based upon it; Hume appears to reject probabilistic reasoning on these grounds)

Doug.

1Doug note Cratylus' use of thought as having to change rather than classically having to attain and maintain ideal 'state' is what we call today a meme. Memes are quantons of thought. Cratylus' adaptive thought is what Doug intends by "quantum~omnitoring." Qubits omnitor reality while reality changes. Quantum computing is important due this Cratylean and Heraclitean meme of flux inducing, although they didn't call it this, "quantum~uncertainty," which is stochastic: probabilistic (a posteriorai), plausibilistic (a iamai), likelihoodistic (a priorai). See our QELR of time.

End aside - 28Nov2006.

Page 169, para. 1 continued, after Probability of Absolute Truth vis-à-vis Absolute Uncertainty graphic...

 P169 Para 1, continued...

 P169 Para 1, continued.

...Page 169, para. 1 continued, after Probability of Absolute Truth vis-à-vis Absolute Uncertainty graphic.

Ponder how classicists view Absolute Truth and Absolute Uncertainty as bivalent 'opposites.' I.e.:

EOOO(Absolute Truth, Absolute Uncertainty)

and

dichon(Absolute Truth, Absolute Uncertainty).

Doug - 28Nov2006.

Quantonics quantum_uncertainty issi quanton(partial_uncertainty,ostensible_partial_certainty_as_peaqlos) which may perhaps be best fathomed (given today's levels of intellect, intuition, and instinct) stochastically. Our last sentence explicates John Forbes Nash's "Probability is everything!" fabulously.

What we have learned, tentatively, is that whenever Hume sounds like — appears to be emulating — Quantonics, he is only describing that which he refers "sceptics' — according Hume's 'social dialectical reasoning' — invalid views of reality." Hume appears to value placing social reason above individual reason, yet he does latter better than — yet while adhering — former, in our view. It appears our attempts to credit him with an 'antient' quantonic intuition are in vain...so far he keeps telling us he rejects such intuition.

But we now grasp, and it is no longer just a glimmer, how classicism of Hume's kind is actually a degenerate, h-bar zeroed, mechanically-stopped subset of an absolutely fluxing quantum reality. We can demonstrate how degenerate Hume's classical micro cause micro effect reasoning is. How? Hume assumes 1-1 correspondence of cause-effect. In general there is none! Try to find it. You can't. Von Neumann tried. He failed. Quantum reality offers no general 'truth' of 1-1 correspondent cause-effect. Quantum reality offers instead, causeless effects, effectless causes, etc. Classicism's 1-1 correspondent cause-effect is only a dialectical, analytic, mechanical, formal SOM's Toy Box, Humean toddleresque self delusion. Doug - 26Nov2006.

 P169 Para 2 [Sceptically] There is no Algebraist nor Mathematician so expert in his science, as to place entire confidence in any truth immediately upon his discovery of it, or regard it as any thing, but a mere probability. Every time he runs over his proofs, his confidence encreases; but still more by the approbation of his friends; and is rais'd to its utmost perfection by the universal assent and applauses of the, learned world. Now 'tis evident, that this gradual encrease of assurance is nothing but the addition of new probabilities, and is deriv'd from the constant union of causes and effects, according to past experience and observation. [Recall John Forbes Nash's pooh-poohed remarks, "Probability is everything!" We offer another Quantonics HotMemeBy claiming "probability is everything," we are claiming that reality issi quantum: waves are probabilityings.™ Quantonics HotMeme™ Doug - 25Nov2006]

Keep in mind that Hume, here in Book I, Part IV, Section I of his A Treatise of Human Nature, is putting words in sceptics' mouths...

It is crucial to fathom that in order to hermeneut all his works.

Hume's strawmen sceptics adhere a more modern meme of absolute uncertainty. That is their failing.

Quantum reality is uncertain, but it is n¤t absolutely uncertain. Rather quantum reality's absolute flux is radically stochastic. Of course that explains how we can probabilistically, plausibilistically, and likelihoodistically anticipate, expect, and affect futurings' ensemble outcomings.

Chant "Absolute quantum flux, n¤t absolute uncertainty." And "Radical quantum stochasticity, n¤t absolute uncertainty." And "Change is absolute, n¤t uncertainty."

Simply, some flux is fast. Some flux is slow. Where do humans memetically reside? On reality's slow end of its perceptual spectrum.

Doug.

 P170 Para 1 In accompts [accounts] of any length or importance, Merchants seldom trust to the infallible certainty of numbers for their security; but by the artificial structure of the accompts, produce a probability beyond what is deriv'd from the skill and experience of the accomptant. For that is plainly of itself some degree of probability; tho' uncertain and variable, according to the degrees of his experience and length of the accompt. Now as none will maintain, that our assurance in a long numeration exceeds probability, I may safely affirm, that there scarce is any proposition concerning numbers, of which we can have a fuller security. For 'tis easily possible, by gradually diminishing the numbers [classicists deludedly assume negation is objective; Bergson and quantum~reality have shown us respectively 1) that negation is subjective and 2) flux cann¤t be negated...], to reduce the longest series of addition to the most simple question, which can be form'd, to an addition of two single numbers; and upon this supposition we shall find it impracticable to shew the precise limits of knowledge and of probability, or discover that particular number, at which the one ends and the other begins. But knowledge and probability are of such contrary and disagreeing natures, that they cannot well run insensibly into each other, and that because they will not divide, but must be either entirely present, or entirely absent. Besides, if any single addition were certain, every one wou'd be so, and consequently the whole or total sum; unless the whole can be different from all its parts. I had almost said, that this was certain; but I reflect that it must reduce itself, as well as every other reasoning, and from knowledge degenerate [rather, ascend] into probability.

Our brackets embedded intra text.

Quantonics HotMemeHumans are quantum, as reality issi quantum, as all issi probabilities, thus all issi quantum~waves, and all issi peaqlo~fuzzonic and thus quantum~holographic.™ Quantonics HotMeme™ Doug - 25Nov2006.

See Bergson's "Negation is Subjective."

See our QELR of Negation.

See our QELRs of judge, opposite, quanta, reason, true, truth, and understand.

See our SOM Bases of Judgment, and just below there Bergson's Second Classical Delusion.

 P170 Para 2 [Absolute sceptics proselytize that, ] Since therefore all knowledge resolves itself into probability, and becomes at last of the same nature with that evidence, which we employ in common life, we must now examine this latter species of reasoning, and see on what foundation it stands.

P170 Para 3 

[Absolute sceptics believe that, ] In every judgment, which we can form concerning probability, as well as concerning knowledge, we ought always to correct the first judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the object, by another judgment, deriv'd from the nature of the understanding [Hume's sceptic describes a quanton; a reserve~energy tap; a quantum~real straddle, he describes how MoQites observe, actually coobsfect, reality... Solid circle represents 'knowledge' (e.g., particle, SQ) while dotted circles represent understanding (e.g., wave, DQ)... And here we see quite apparently that quantum~real understanding issi "tapping into reserve energy..." Doug - 25Nov2006.]. 'Tis certain a man of solid sense and long experience ought to have, and usually has, a greater assurance in his opinions, than one that is foolish and ignorant [By what method do we omnistinguish one from another? Doug.], and that our sentiments have different degrees of authority [How do we assess them? Using A Tragedy of Commons Sense? Doug.], even with ourselves, in proportion to the degrees of our reason and experience. In the man of the best sense and longest experience, this authority is never entire; since even such-a-one must be conscious of many errors in the past, and must still dread the like for the future. Here then arises a new species of probability to correct and regulate the first, and fix its just standard and proportion. As demonstration is subject to the controul of probability, so is probability liable to a new correction by a reflex act of the mind, wherein the nature of our understanding, and our reasoning from the first probability become our objects. [And here Hume's sceptic describes a quantum phenomenon now well~fathomed: quantum~fractal~recursion and human quantum~stage recapitulation of it. Our acronym for this is REIMAR. It is essence of quantum~evolution. We use quantum~reality loops to illustrate it. See right column's bottom graphic. Doug - 25Nov2006.]

P170 Para 3 , continued
 P171 Para 1 Having thus found in every probability, beside the original uncertainty inherent in the subject [Hume, pretending to think as a sceptic, is way ahead of Heisenberg here in showing that uncertainty is intrinsic, implicit, and scaling all realms of reality. Doug - 25Nov2006.], a new uncertainty deriv'd from the weakness of that faculty, which judges, and having adjusted these two together, we are oblig'd by our reason to add a new doubt deriv'd from the possibility of error in the estimation we make of the truth and fidelity of our faculties. This is a doubt, which immediately occurs to us, and of which, if we wou'd closely pursue our reason, we cannot avoid giving a decision. But this decision, tho' it shou'd be favourable to our preceding judgment, being founded only on probability, must weaken still further our first evidence, and must itself be weaken'd by a fourth doubt of the same kind, and so on in infinitum: till at last there remain nothing of the original probability, however great we may suppose it to have been, and however small the diminution by every new uncertainty. No finite object can subsist under a decrease repeated in infinitum; and even the vastest quantity, which can enter into human imagination, must in this manner be reduc'd to nothing. Let our first belief be never so strong, it must infallibly perish by passing thro' so many new examinations, of which each diminishes somewhat of its force and vigour. When I reflect on the natural fallibility of my judgment, I have less confidence in my opinions, than when I only consider the objects concerning which I reason; and when I proceed still farther, to turn the scrutiny against every successive estimation I make of my faculties, all the rules of logic require a continual diminution, and at last a total extinction of belief and evidence. [That last sentence sounds like J. C. Maxwell's second 'law' of thermodynamics. It assumes only one gradient for posentropy. But entropy too is probabilistic and it too waxes and wanes as quantum waves. Posentropies' gradients increase and decrease. As Ilya Prigogine and IsaBelle Stengers showed in their Order Out of Chaos, posentropy has a production term and a dissipation term. And posentropic equilibrium is only one kind of quantum~tentative~persistence, QTP. Maxwell's dialectic produced Error! Doug - 25Nov2006.]

Our embedded intratext bracketed comments.

Belatedly, Doug senses he should have spent more time with this paragraph of Hume's. Originally, when Doug first reviewed it, he sensed that any reader could see how Hume's use of dialectic was all we needed to observe how Hume's thought is clearly fraudulent here. All those violet emboldened words, plus a couple of bracketed comments seemed enough. To Doug they probably are, but to a neophyte, they may n¤t be enough.

Reader, keep in mind that Hume has already closed probability out of his mind...as, to him, absurd. Why? Easiest answer involves a list of issues which were, perhaps, unobvious to Hume:

  • Reality is n¤t objective; reality is waves AKA quantum flux essence, and waves are best represented (given current language and tool limitations) using formal stochastics while interpreting them subjectively as de Finetti suggests,
  • Reality is n¤t classically inductive, deductive, determinate, reality doesn't have equivalence relations: identity, reflexivity, symmetry, transitivity, etc., reality doesn't have 1-1 correspondence, and reality doesn't have linear relation properties: factorizability, distributivity, commutativity, etc.,
  • We can list an unbearably long ensemble of anti-classical reality issues here...

You should also grasp how Hume would have been inclined to call Henri Louis Bergson's opus absurd too. But Bergson got it right, and Hume could see probabilistic reality similarly, but refused to accept quantum reality as a better way of examining reality, which Bergson almost intuited. Hume would clearly disagree with Bergson's three most sparkling quantum assessments:

  1. Reality is dynamic (Bergson said, "Reality is unstable."),
  2. Reality isn't objective (Bergson said, "Objects, we should say "quantons," in reality are n¤t independent of one another."), and
  3. Negation is subjective.

If our conjecture is correct, then Hume blew it, and Bergson got a lot closer to what we mean today, CeodE 2008, by quantum~reality than any of his predecessors (excepting a few ancient gnostics like Cratylus, Heraclitus, and Zeno).

What is wrong with Hume's approach in that paragraph?

  • He is using negational modular induction on uncertainty.
  • He is treating negation as objective.
  • He is treating uncertainty as objective.
  • He is assuming reality may be stopped while he applies his classical scalarbative maths to his classical objectifications.
  • Etc.

All of those assumptions — in quantum~reality — are bogus. So his entire paragraph is, simply, bogus. Induction is bogus. Objective negation is bogus. Objective uncertainty is bogus. Stoppable reality ("zero momentum") is bogus.

Thanks to a 7Sep2008 reader who searched on that first sentence's text...who reminded Doug that this text needed additional and comprehensive comments.

Doug - 10Sep2008.

  P171 Para 2 Shou'd it here be ask'd me, whether I sincerely assent to this argument, which I seem to take such pains to inculcate, and whether I be really one of those sceptics, who hold that all is uncertain, and that our judgment is not in any thing possest of any measures of truth and falshood; I shou'd reply, that this question is entirely superfluous, and that neither I, nor any other person was ever sincerely and constantly of that opinion. Nature, by an absolute and uncontroulable necessity has determin'd us to judge as well as to breathe and feel; nor can we any more forbear viewing certain objects in a stronger and fuller light, upon account of their customary connexion with a present impression, than we can hinder ourselves from thinking as long, as we are awake, or seeing the surrounding bodies, when we turn our eyes towards them in broad sunshine. Whoever has taken the pains to refute the cavils of this total scepticism, has really disputed without an antagonist, and endeavour'd by arguments to establish a faculty, which nature has antecedently implanted in the mind, and render'd unavoidable.

Our bold and color.

Doug's take on what Hume is saying here is that total uncertainty is a sceptic's absolute. But quantum~reality offers variable and tentative persistence which itself, like all else, is probable: some waves are very long length while others are very short length. Earth's 'orbit' around Sol is long compared to Earth's axial rotation rate. It's solar 'orbit' rate is fast compared to Earth's axial precession: ~26,000 years. Our solar system's 'orbit' in our Milky Way lasts 10s of millions of years. But every wave, fast or slow, has nearly unlimited multi-affective ephemera. So no wave is just a single probability distribution, rather all quantum~waves are quantum~likelihood omnistributions, QLOs. Quantum~uncertainty is multiplex veri similitudo...potentially omniplex veri similitudo, yet that ensemble itself has a distribution whose ensemble quantum~determinism may be monitored thus attenuating Hume's extreme brand of radically uncertain scepticism. Generally speaking though, anything today simply isn't that same thing a second from now or a year from now. Personally, I do not see that as a radically uncertain classical brand of scepticism. Radical classicism (stoppable reality with absolute determinism) is demonstrably more dangerous as a means of thought than variably~persistent quantum~uncertainty. Former has no means of evolution. Latter intrinsically fluxes evolute qua.

Why is reality a complementation of apparent stasis and actual change as quantum flux? Why quanton(~,o)?

Why did Doug put 'orbit' in single quotes. We tend to thingk of our Earth's path around Sol as a repeatable circle. It isn't! It is a wave. Why? Our solar system has its own longer wave which is modulated by Earth's period. Essentially, Earth never, ever returns to any 'point' of its 'orbit.' No 'circles' exist! If you draw a circle on a piece of paper and take one second to do that, starting point of that art and end point are hundreds of miles apart in 'space.' You may thingk of paper's circle as Pirsigean SQ. Its quantum complement in real space is a wave whose length is hundreds of miles. A quanton(DQ,SQ) may be shown as quanton(~,o). Complement of that SQ 'o' is a DQ tilde~wave. Classicists, due an assumption that reality holds still, see that 'o' as reality. Quantumists claim that reality is a quantum~complementation of both tilde and 'o.' We can demonstrate latter is a better way of thinking and former is essentially bogus due its classically-radical state-ic incompleteness: an old way of thingking. See Doug's strategic omniscriptioning of quanton(~,o). Doug - 25Nov2006.

 P172 Para 1

My intention then in displaying so carefully the arguments of that fantastic sect [...we think he intends, here, sceptics adhering radical uncertainty...], is only to make the reader sensible of the truth [We have to worry here if Hume views 'truth' as a dialectical opposite of radical uncertainty, i.e., radical certainty...an easy way to look at this, in Doug's opinion, is that reality is neither radically uncertain nor radically certain, instead reality is radically stochastic...uncertainty itself is probabilistic which notably is an assessment of self~referent~fractal~recursion: quantum~real!] of my hypothesis [role-playing as a sceptic], that all our reasonings concerning causes and effects are deriv'd from nothing but custom; and that belief is more properly an act of the, sensitive, than of the cogitative part of our natures. I have here prov'd, that the very same principles, which make us form a decision upon any subject, and correct that decision by the consideration of our genius and capacity, and of the situation of our mind, when we examin'd that subject; I say, I have prov'd, that these same principles, when carry'd farther, and apply'd to every new reflex judgment, must, by continually diminishing the original evidence, at last reduce it to nothing, and utterly subvert all belief and opinion. If belief, therefore, were a simple act of the thought, without any peculiar manner of conception, or the addition of a force and vivacity, it must infallibly destroy itself [For that phrase to hold, along with Hume's use of "prov'd," dialectical-stability, -independence, -negation, -contradiction, -falsifiability, -proof, and -truth as classicism's bases of judgment have to hold, right?], and in every case terminate in a total suspense of judgment. But as experience will sufficiently convince any one, who thinks it worth while to try, that tho' he can find no error in the foregoing arguments, yet he still continues to believe, and think, and reason as usual, he may safely conclude, that his reasoning and belief is some sensation or peculiar manner of conception, which 'tis impossible for mere ideas and reflections to destroy. [But didn't Hume's proof require dialectical reification to work? If it did, and reality is really subjective, how does one reify it? We are mimicking Bruno de Finetti's ~1935 "We are sometimes led to make a judgment which has a purely subjective meaning, and this is perfectly legitimate; but if one seeks to replace it afterward by something objective, one does not make progress, but only an error." here. See de Finetti's paper, 'Foresight: Its Logical Laws, Its Subjective Sources.']

Our embedded intratext bracketed comments.

Hume uses proof to excess here.

Classically, proof is possible based upon SOM's Bases of Judgment, top down:

  • truth (depends upon proof)
  • proof (depends upon falsifiability)
  • falsifiability (depends upon contradiction)
  • contradiction (depends upon negation)
  • negation (depends upon independence)
  • independence (depends upon stability)
  • stability (depends upon anthropocentric epistemological suppositional tautology)

Quantumly, all of those classical axiomatics are simply bogus. Reality is flux. Quantons' middles are included. Flux may not be classically negated. Quantumly, reality is wholly positive, so contradiction may not be achieved via ideal classical negation. Etc.

 P172 Para 2

But here, perhaps, it may be demanded, how it happens, even upon my [scepticist's] hypothesis, that these arguments above-explain'd produce not a total suspense of judgment [We can agree if Hume will allow us to throw out classical bases of judgment and retain quantum~stochasticity.], and after what manner the mind ever retains a degree of assurance in any subject? [Does that not beg quantum~stochasticity?] For as these new probabilities, which by their repetition perpetually diminish the original evidence, are founded on the very same principles, whether of thought or sensation, as the primary judgment, it may seem unavoidable, that in either case they must equally subvert it, and by the opposition [which is part and parcel of classical 'contradiction'], either of contrary thoughts or sensations, reduce the mind to a total uncertainty [not if we eliminate dialectic and its bases of judgment: stochastics do not imply "total uncertainty"]. I suppose, there is some question propos'd to me, and that after revolving over the impressions of my memory and senses, and carrying my thoughts from them to such objects , as are commonly conjoin'd with them, I feel a stronger and more forcible conception on the one side, than on the other. [Dialectic is firmly entrenched in Hume's mind, as evidenced by his usages of objects , commonly, conjoin'd, forcible, conception, and "on the one side" vis-à-vis "on the other."] This strong conception forms my first decision. I suppose, that afterwards I [sceptically] examine my judgment itself, and observing from experience, that 'tis sometimes just and sometimes erroneous [Now he goes quantum with a both "just" and "erroneous." Shades of Thomas Kuhn and Clifford Geertz!], I consider it as regulated by contrary principles or causes, of which some lead to truth, and some to error; and in ballancing these contrary causes [Is dialectical destruction "ballancing?"], I diminish by a new probability the assurance of my first decision [Notice]. This new probability is liable to the same diminution as the foregoing, and so on, in infinitum. [Again] 'Tis therefore demanded, how it happens, that even after all we retain a degree of belief, which is sufficient for our purpose, either in philosophy or common life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Notice:] Notice, be sure to notice, how Hume juxtaposes probability and decision. Isn't his version of probability subjective? Isn't his version of decision (say, decidability) radically objective? Hume is doing this: dichon(probability, decision). But we cannot put that which is subjective in comparative juxtaposition with that which is dialectically objective! De Finetti explained why. We may not replace that which is subjective with an object! If we do, we have made an Error. That is what Hume has done: made an Error.

[Again:] Again, Hume errs. Probability is positive. Probability has no means to diminish, only to change. Kyburg and Smokler in their 1964 Studies in Subjective Probability write it like this, probability "is a non negative, additive set function whose maximum value is unity." So probability, in any classical sense, has no means to in infinitum regressively "diminish." Quantum reality's waves agree. Waves can only have interfering (self, and entangled~other) and non interfering (unentangled~other) phase interrelationshipings. All positive in terms of presence of wave energy. Wave cancellation requires two radically similar waves ideally phase inverted re: one another. But that only apparent 'cancellation' is an emergent phenomenon of double energy, not energy destruction, not energy diminishment! Doug - 25Nov2006.

 P173 Para 1

I answer, that after the [scepticist's] first and second decision; as the action of the mind becomes forc'd and unnatural, and the ideas faint and obscure; tho' the principles of judgment, and the ballancing of opposite causes be the same as at the very beginning; yet their influence on the imagination, and the vigour they add to, or diminish from the thought, is by no means equal. Where the mind reaches not its objects with easiness and facility, the same principles have not the same effect as in a more natural conception of the ideas; nor does the imagination feel a sensation, which holds any proportion with that which arises from its common judgments and opinions. The attention is on the stretch: The posture of the mind is uneasy; and the spirits being diverted from their natural course, are not govern'd in their movements by the same laws, at least not to the same degree, as when they flow in their usual channel.

 P173 Para 2

If we desire similar instances, 'twill not be very difficult to find them. The present subject of metaphysics will supply us abundantly. The same argument, which wou'd have been esteem'd convincing in a reasoning concerning history or politics, has little or no influence in these abstruser subjects, even tho' it be perfectly comprehended; and that because there is requir'd a study and an effort of thought, in order to its being comprehended: And this effort of thought disturbs the operation of our sentiments, on which the belief depends. The case is the same in other subjects. The straining of the imagination always hinders the regular flowing of the passions and sentiments. A tragic poet, that wou'd represent his heroes as very ingenious and witty in their misfortunes, wou'd never touch the passions. As the emotions of the soul prevent any subtile reasoning and reflection, so these latter actions of the mind are equally prejudicial to the former. The mind, as well as the body, seems to be endow'd with a certain precise degree of force and activity, which it never employs in one action, but at the expense of all the rest. This is more evidently true, where the actions are of quite different natures; since in that case the force of the mind is not only diverted, but even the disposition chang'd, so as to render us incapable of a sudden transition from one action to the other, and still more of performing both at once. No wonder, then, the conviction, which arises from a subtile reasoning, diminishes in proportion to the efforts, which the imagination makes to enter into the reasoning, and to conceive it in all its parts. Belief, being a lively conception, can never be entire, where it is not founded on something natural and easy. [Unfortunately, we infer, what Hume refers "natural and easy" is dialectic. Doug - 25Nov2006.]

 P174 Para 1

This I take to be the true state of the question, and cannot approve of that expeditious way, which some take with the sceptics, to reject at once all their arguments without enquiry or examination. [Hume appears to be saying, "We may not use SOM's wall, a dialectical wall, to reject sceptics outright." We agree.] If the sceptical reasonings be strong, say they, 'tis a proof, that reason may have some force and authority: if weak, they can never be sufficient to invalidate all the conclusions of our understanding. [Understanding] This argument is not just; because the sceptical reasonings, were it possible for them to exist, and were they not destroy'd by their subtility, wou'd be successively both strong and weak, according to the successive dispositions of the mind. Reason first appears in possession of the throne, prescribing laws, and imposing maxims, with an absolute sway and authority. Her enemy, therefore, is oblig'd to take shelter under her protection, and by making use of rational arguments to prove the fallaciousness and imbecility of reason, produces, in a manner, a patent under her band and seal. This patent has at first an authority, proportioned to the present and immediate authority of reason, from which it is deriv'd. But as it is suppos'd to be [when we use dialectic] contradictory to reason, it gradually diminishes [diminishment is only possible in dialectic since it assumes reality may be negated] the force of that governing power and its own at the same time; till at last they both vanish away into nothing [impossible in quantum reality], by a regular and just diminution. The sceptical and dogmatical reasons are of the same kind [Justify], tho' contrary in their operation and tendency; so that where the latter is strong, it has an enemy of equal force in the former to encounter; and as their forces were at first equal, they still continue so, as long as either of them subsists; nor does one of them lose any force in the contest, without taking as much from its antagonist. 'Tis happy, therefore, that nature breaks the force of all sceptical arguments in time [actually nature is showing us, in spades, that s-he is not dialectical, rather s-he is radically stochastic and uncertain at all scales.], and keeps them from having any considerable influence on the understanding. Were we to trust entirely to their self-destruction, that can never take place, 'till they have first subverted all conviction, and have totally destroy'd human reason [Sounds nihilistic to Doug. Quantonics is showing it not need be so, and nature's stochastic processings are finding ways to help us evolve from dialectic toward quantum sophist rhetoric. Doug - 25Nov2006.].

How can Hume say, ...can never be sufficient to invalidate...? Hume brilliantly agrees with our SOM's Bases of Judgment that classical notions of contradiction based upon negation based upon objective independence based upon concrete stability are all classical illusions, classical self delusions. This is another way of paraphrasing Bergson's "...negation is subjective." Quantumly it means any 'thing' has potentially all of reality as its complement, and classical negation as 'oppositive' demands that if there is an opposite of any thing, there may be only one. Why? Aristotle's stupid excluded-middle sillygism which is a prime canon of dialectic. See our What are Sophisms? Doug - 28Nov2007.

[Understanding:] But if we adhere reality as stochastic, we have no means of 'proof' available to us. Waves always change and waves always change all. So we have to reject dialectic as our basis of reason, and adopt some probabilistic process to subsume it. Whatever that is, its proem is uncertainty due absolute change, and ostensible apparency of partially viscous duration. That process, in our view, demands not 'dialectical proof' rather selection of better. Reason may now be viewed as 1) state-ic dialectical certainty and one alternative as 2) evolutionary choosings' uncertainties. Our view is that we should be able to choose which of those approaches is better, not dialectically which is the right approach, rather which approach is better than its current alternative. Doug - 25Nov2006.

Hume's ...both strong and weak... is a quantum tell. Quantum waves, like ocean waves, are both strong and weak! Too all waves are entirely dynamic and varying quantum~PPL~omnistributionings. Also see Bergson's comments on multiplicities of mind. Links to Bergson's TaFW Chapter II just below. Doug - 28Nov2007.

[Justify:] This appears to justify our comments; is not Hume saying both sceptics and dogmatists are using dialectic? But if sceptics are adhering quantum~probability and quantum~uncertainty they implicitly deny dialectic! Hume did not know that and understand that, did he? He got so close and yet failed to "get it." If he had just paid more attention to sceptics who adhered probability as real...But my god look how far he came, nearly 300 years ago! Awesome!

Yet here we find Hume's great failing, a dialectical failing, in his "...it has an enemy of equal force in the former to encounter..." Hume assumes we can use dialectic equality to counter dialectic. However; dialectic is a dualistic-platypusean either-or spawn of monism, and it is easy to show that classical monism is deceit: see OGC. He is saying that dialectic for rational reason and dialectic for scepticism is a valid approach to engender their 'equal' and socially-sovereign thought-cop rights. What Hume appears to n¤t grasp is that dialectic is bogus, and here we see its bogosity in an assumption that rational reason's opposite is simple oppositional objective negation. That is just wr¤ng! Any meme's quantum~other is its quantum~complement, n¤t its dialectical objective opposite! Dialectic, whether used to support rational reason, and possibly alternatively to support scepticism puts its subject in a box whose complement is so immense as to make dialectic appear a weakling regardless of any application. Quantum~complementation powerfully subsumes and withers dialectic. See Bergson's Time and Free Will Chapter II, The Multiplicity of Conscious States - The Idea of Duration, for a quick summary read that Chapter's last topic, 'Two Aspects of the Self.' Compare what Bergson is saying to Hume's self confessions of being two-minds either sceptical 'or' being rational. Further fathom how Hume writes that way, Li-la dancing twixt his rational self and his sceptical self, to and fro, back and forth, up and down, in and out, ..., The Lila Dance twixt Divine and Mortal, a quantum~straddling of individual and divine~complement forever fluxing, a moral dance of macroscopic quantum uncertainty. Doug - 28-29Nov2007.

Our intent here is to help our readers see Hume's two-selved partial denigration of sceptical thought.

Our Quantonics view, though, is that Hume's role-played scepticism vis-à-vis his role-played rational reason taken together are much closer to quantum~reality than his naïve dialectic 'reason' taken alone, standing alone per se against any complement of scepticism. However, as we have said elsewhere, Hume's dance is a platypus, an either-or dichon(scepticism, rational_reason). Would it were per intera quantum~holographic quanton(scæpticism,ratih¤nal_ræas¤n). We are looking for Humean exemplars of latter... Revised by Doug - 28-29Nov2007, thanks to our ongoing review of David A. Granger's October, 2006 Dewey, Pirsig, and the Art of Living.

Those of you who have an ongoing interest in Hume should know that our efforts on Granger's book will commence with a n¤væl Quantonics multi-month TQS News feuilleton Chautauqua with our December, 2007 issue. Watch for it! Doug - 29Nov2007.

Thank you for reading,

Doug - 27-29Nov2006.


To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
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©Quantonics, Inc., 2006-2028 Rev. 27Feb2015  PDR Created: 25Nov2006  PDR
(27-29Nov2006 rev - Add some needed p. 169, para. 1 comment links, and Cratylus relevant aside. Typo.)
(3,7,18Dec2006 rev - Add 'Cratylus' anchor to p. 169, para. 1 comments on Cratylus. Typos. Add some bold violet codes. Add some p. 169 paa. 2 comments emphasis. Typo.)
(31Jan2007 rev - Change scanning error 'were' to 'mere' p. 169, para. 2. Marked in red text.)
(23,26Apr2007 rev - Repair Section II to I and paragraph count from 15 to 12. Correct a scanning error and an absent italicization. Add 'Caution Hume Absolutes' and anchor.)
(28-29Nov2007 rev - Add page 174, paragraph 1 summary anchor. Major page 174 comment updates.)
(4,10Dec2007 rev - Add TQS December News link. Repair Granger's book publish date from August, 2006 to October.)
(4,31May2008 rev - Repair minor typo. Reset legacy red text markups. Repair minor p. 171, para. 2 comments typo.)
(24Jun2008 rev - Move 'Graphic Exemplar' anchor to a more convenient location. Repair a minor typo.)
(10,13Sep2008 rev - Complete p. 171, para. 1 comments and show how wrong Hume's thingking really is. Update p. 172 comments re: interference.)
(5Oct2008 rev - Add p. 170 anchor.)
(16-17May2009 rev - Add p. 172 para. 1 commentary anchor 'Major Hume Mistakes.' Add several links under that anchor. Add 'Omniplex Veri Similitudo' anchor.)
(9Jul2009 rev - Add 'Modular Induction' anchor.)
(20Sep2009 rev - Add intrapage links to recent QELR of 'wave.')
(9Jan2010 rev - Add red text update and anchor with Why? text on page 171 para 2 commentary.)
(22Jun2010 rev - Add 'Equivalence Relations' anchor to page 171 para 1 commentary.)
(25Jan2011 rev - Add 'Hume's Use of Uncertain' anchor.)
(27Feb2015 rev - Repair a very minor typo. Reset legacy markups. Adjust color.)


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