Metaphysics, Philosophy

David Hume vs G.E.M. Anscombe

– David Hume vs. Elizabeth Anscombe –

David Hume Vs. G.E.M Anscombe

“As all distinct ideas are separable from each other, and as the ideas of cause and effect are evidently distinct, ‘twill be easy for us to conceive any object to be non-existent at this moment, and existent the next, without conjoining to it the distinct idea of a cause from that of a beginning of existence is plainly possible for the imagination, and consequently the actual separation of these objects is so far possible that it implies no contradiction or absurdity.”  – David Hume –

vs.

“If I say I can imagine a rabbit coming into being without a parent rabbit, well and good: I imagine a rabbit coming into being, and our observing that there is no parent rabbit about. But what am I to imagine if I imagine a rabbit coming into being without a cause? Well, I just imagine a rabbit coming into being. That this is the imagination of a rabbit coming into being without a cause is nothing but, as it were, the title of the picture. Indeed I can form an image and give my picture that title. But from my being able to do that, nothing whatever follows about what it is possible to suppose ‘without contradiction or absurdity’ as holding in reality.” – G.E.M Anscombe –

– Lucas G. Westman


– David Hume, A Treatise on Human Nature, ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge (Oxford, 1965), pp. 79f.

– Elizabeth Anscombe, Collected Philosophical Papers (Oxford, 1981), vol. I

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