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— The Quantonics Society News for 2007 - December —
TQS News Archive of Prior Years' News

This is our December, 2007 editorial

Our editorials are often provocative; if we offend you, do not read them - Doug.

These editorials are Doug's opinions, n¤t the opinions.

Go directly to 2007 December News


Did you hear HC emit that Bushagain phrase? Shades of a Democramped mind...did you hear it?

Disabusing Obama, HC said, "Change is just a word."

But, Hillarious m'dear, thou art politically incorrect!

Change is reality! Change is real. Reality is change!

HC, you want reality to conveniently hold still. You want hubby's old political tricks and 'principles' to apply.

We already warned you. All rules have changed. All rules have evolved since hubby's, now anachronous, strategies once appeared universal and timeless.

Evolution is real. Adaptation is required. Change isn't just a word, m'dear. Change is essence of all. Change affects all, always!

What this shows us, isn't political brilliance, rather your political ineptness, and we have a whole year to watch it grow.

See Hillarious? You are old school politics. If we vote for you, we vote for more of same.

But Obama is right! We want change. Real change. Not contrived Hilliarisms. We Don't Want 'No Mo yo' stuckness: WDWNM your, "status quo is the way to go."

Goodbye, Hillarious!

No mo yo!

Doug - 21Nov2007.

2007 TQS News
December, 2006 through November, 2007                                  TQS News Archive of Prior Years' News



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Doug saved best for last...

Doug's Review Progress Jolly's Fast VNC,
Dionne's Liberal Moment, and Defining Wisdom.
On A Super Weapon against Earth, On Apple's OS X Leopard, Pirsig vis-à-vis Dewey and Hume "...embraces radical scepticism..." ?

December, 2007 News:

Feuilleton Installment:

  December, 2007 January, 2008 February, 2008 March, 2008

April, 2008

May, 2008

1st installment:

   a prerequisite to:  a prerequisite to:   a prerequisite to:   a prerequisite to:  
Installment Topic:   Does Hume
"embrace a radical scepticism"
as David A. Granger writes?
Does Doug Ostensibly
Approve Granger's Choice
of Dewey
1 as a Pirsigean
Value~Quality Compeer?
John Dewey's Unwillingness to Sacrifice Science to Achieve Pirsigean Value~Quality.

Move to any Installment of our 2007 - 2008 feuilleton Chautauqua
says, "You are here!")

1 See John Dewey, Robert Pirsig and the Art of Living - 'Revisioning Aesthetic Education,' by David A Granger, October, 2006, Palgrave McMillan.

On ...Doug's first reading of David A. Granger's August 2006 book on Pirsig vis-à-vis Dewey...

Longtimers here in Quantonics intuit how Doug's growth as an amateur philosopher started with his first c. late 1970s, early 1980s reading of Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, ZMM.

Since then Doug's life became better, and Doug's whole purpose in life became, "An attempt to assist natural processings in evolving our realityings toward betterings." As Granger shows us both Dewey and Pirsig are meliorists. Granger teaches us that Latin melior means better. So people who believe in natural process as a stochastic effort of emerqing better are meliorists, we might even infer quantum~meliorists. So, Doug is a meliorist, a quantum~meliorist. Doug, at least to some extent, like Pirsig and Dewey, practices (attempts to practice) meliorism.

Prior Granger, Doug had sampled Dewey. Dewey for Doug was furthest possible candidate (similar Descartes, Hegel, and Kant as examples) for comparison to Pirsig. Early Dewey was an antithesis of Pirsig, so you can imagine Doug's deep dismay at seeing Granger's book title.

Doug is just now in chapter 2, but what Granger has shown so far is how Dewey, in his later years and similar William James, underwent a philosophical conversion of sorts. That conversion brought him much closer to Pirsig. As a result Granger's recent text appears a fabulous way to learn new (n¤væl) memes which emerge from Granger's comparisons of Dewey and Pirsig.

This book is way beyond post graduate philosophy work. So you have to slow down and take your time with it. Granger is a tremendously good writer. Doug loves his vocabulary and how he juxtaposes words, phrases and clauses. Granger's grammar is exquisite! We see c. 2007 too few folk who know English extremely well. To Doug, Granger is an exemplar of evocative and viable, while academically elite, English.

Those of you into Pirsig, James, and Bergson, will want to add Granger's book to your list, and you may even find a place in your heart to align Dewey admirably with those three immensely capable philosophers. Doug is resisting Dewey as a Pirsigean comparable, while sensing with worry Doug's own potential imminent concord with Granger. Dewey as portrayed by Granger is amazing and Doug finds it hard to accept that Dewey slipped through Doug's own list of Pirsigesque folk.

It's been awhile since Doug read either ZMM or Lila. So reading Granger is a tad like taking a refresher course. That may be a good way for those of you previously unexposed to MoQ to sneak in. It is a great Pirsig opus audit. However, beware: as we shall see there is a pile of philosophy to fathom to assemble this partial puzzle. Granger, too, may have stepped into some potholes.

As remarked above Granger is excellent, but Doug did find an annoying misuse of whither in place of wither (p. 31, first full paragraph). Too, Doug is concerned about Granger's interpretations of Hume. This news item became a philosophical necessity when Granger claimed in his new book that Hume is a radical sceptic. Granger's reference, we infer, is same as Doug's, i.e., Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, AToHN.

Most of 2006 Doug was in a process of reviewing portions of AToHN and specifically covered Hume on scepticism. What Doug found (believes he understands) is that Hume role-plays two Humean selves: sometimes he role-plays against probability and explicitly against scepticism. Other times he role-plays for probability and for scepticism. Then, sometimes Hume role-plays against rational reason. Other times he role-plays for rational reason. Doug interprets Hume doing a kind of quantum Poisson Bracket of optimism vis-à-vis pessimism vis-à-vis rational reason vis-à-vis scepticism.

©Quantonics, Inc., 2007-2010

Rational Reason

Hume Role-Playing Rational Reason Pessimistically Hume Role-Playing Rational Reason Optimistically


Hume Role-Playing Scepticism Pessimistically Hume Role-Playing Scepticism Optimistically

Hume's Role-Playing Portrayed as a Quantum~Poisson~Bracket

Notice how pink and green colors appear as quantum~entangled half~waves.

Doug - 29Nov2007.

Hume, just as Plato and Aristotle, mostly hates sophists and sophism, yet sometimes he role-plays on behalf of probability and scepticism. Hume usually believes that reality is certain, then turns around and role-plays pro scepticism. Hume often disclaims via rational reason any Value of belief in uncertainty. Then he turns tables and reflects scepticism against his own rational abidings. OK, then to Hume, is scepticism certain? Uncertain? Either certain or uncertain? Both certain and uncertain? How much of each? Is this series of queries similar our quantum~queries on position and momentum? Energy and time?

If we evaluate Hume overall, when he role-plays rational reason, he claims certainty of causality. Is he 'radically sceptical' about cause? N¤ (when he role-plays rational reason). Is he radically sceptical about human's abilities to know? Probably, yæs (when he role-plays scepticism). See...Hume's scepticism sometimes appears to, and other times n¤t, obey a dialectical either-or 'general rules' approach! Does Hume believe in probability? N¤, since, when he role-plays rational reason, he views it as a tool of sceptics and sophists. Isn't that interesting!? (Classical reality is radically form-certain-determinate. Dialectical! Quantum reality issi radically~stochastic! Sophist!)

What is Hume doing? Why role-play scepticism and rational reason both from optimistic and pessimistic viewpoints? Do Hume's scales of rational reason vis-à-vis scepticism tip in favor of either one or other? If you do that can you claim to be either a radical sceptic or rationally reasonable?

But Granger writes this, on page 56 of his 2006 John Dewey, Robert Pirsig, and the Art of Living:

"Hume then acknowledged the limits of human thought within the Cartesian framework even more thoroughly. Dispensing entirely with commonsense reasoning, he openly embraced a radical skepticism that at once precluded the possibility of knowledge of 'causality' and repudiated the notion that substance in any form exists or can have any coherent meaning." Clearly, this is similar Cratylean scepticism, but in our view "Hume is n¤ Cratylus!"

Doug, except for that notable faux pas, wants to hold Granger in high esteem. But from what Doug understands, Granger did n¤t spend enough time with Hume (and Doug acknowledges that claim applies as much to self as to other...), or Granger has followed hearsay from some other misguided 'exp[eu]rt.' Let's see if we can uncover more 'Trouble in River City.' Unfortunately Granger did not use any footnote or reference on this reference. We now tentatively infer that Hume reference is to AToHN.

Doug's initial exposure to Hume came in his reviews of Introduction and first two chapters of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. In those dialogues (actually tri- and possibly quatro-logues) Hume brilliantly uses Philo, Demea, and Cleanthes to each take a philosophical position and support it via their individual, personal best qua. See Doug's brief apprisal of Henry Aiken's view of Hume's DCNR excellence.

(It is worth noting that dialogues develop ensembles of Poisson~Bracketings, and
as such then become valuable tools for practicing waveMBU™.)

If you try that Henry Aiken link, you will see Philo as a careless sceptic, Demea as a SOMite par excellence, and Cleanthes as more like Dewey (apparently, later phase natural meliorist), James (later phase pluralist~gn¤stic fluxist), Pirsig ("both Lila1 has Quality and Quality has Lila," BAWAM(DQ,SQ) middle~inclusionist), and Doug (self-referring quantum~gn¤stic~fluxist, quantum~hermeneuticist). Doug, so far, pretty much agrees with Aiken's assessments.

Hume's style of writing tends to this process of optimistic-pessimistic pretensions via expressed and unexpressed representatives of some systems (in fairly limited varieties) of thought.

We believe Hume's statements on scepticism in AToHN: Book I, Part IV, Sections I and II, are n¤t entirely his, rather representative of Hume's pretentious view of how a strawman scepticist could-would think. Essential to grasp here, though, is that Hume appears to role-play both scepticism and rational reason in a quasi balanced manner. At Book I's ending Hume concludes his own leanings in favor of a mild (n¤t radical) kind of scepticism, while acknowledging his own sinking feelings about legitimacy of contemporary confidence in rational reason. Other paragraphs in AToHN Book I which we review below tend to agree with that assessment. If needed, we will review similar paragraphs from Book III.

Doug wants to spend some time here, as news worthy, on credence~building of that belief. If Granger misinterpreted Hume...if Doug misinterpreted Hume...others probably are misinterpreting him too...and that is news worthy.

Doug's approach is to look at all three Books of AToHN, do a Unix pattern search on their texts to find occurrences of 'sceptic' plus 'radical' and establish con(m)textings for each occurrence which may help us choose-select whether Doug's assessment of Hume's scepticism is closer to reality compared to Granger's assessment of Hume's scepticism. Before we do that let''s look at a 'formal definition' of what most of us could-should mean by our 'usages' of 'scepticism:'

"skepticism (skèp´tî-sîz´em), philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited, because of either the limitations of the mind or the inaccessibility of its object. The term is used more loosely to denote any questioning attitude. The earliest skeptics included the Greek Sophists (5th cent. B.C.) and Protagoras. Hume is famous for his theoretical skepticism, but more closely linked to skepticism was the agnosticism of Kant, who demonstrated that certain problems are insoluble by reason. Descartes used skepticism as a methodology. The scientific method, which demands that all assumptions be questioned, is skeptical to a degree, although the positivism of scientists assumes that material effect is impossible without material cause."

The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Notice last sentence of that 'definition.' Its final clause comes closer to embodying Hume's rational reason (strawman and otherwise), in Doug's view.

Cratylus represents what Doug views as an absolute sceptic. A radical sceptic, one who "embraces radical scepticism." If you agree, then we must say that Cratylus would say we cannot make any comments about reality without qualifying our absolute uncertainty about those comments. Adepts in Quantonics will recognize that as an extreme view of quantum~uncertainty as complete and absolute. Adepts can also omnistinguish classically Platypusean either-or absolute uncertainty from enthymemetic both~and partiality of real quantum~uncertainty. If you read that 'enthymemetic' link, we believe you will see, perhaps commence partial seeing, of how Hume appears to dialectically confuse partiality and scepticism. Are we sceptical when we say, "That which is now, is partially what it will become over balance of its lifetime?" That sentence isn't so much about scepticism as it is about grasping evolutionary meliorism in its quintessence. When we mix Pirsig's DQ (which Doug believes Hume denied, in spades) and evolutionary partiality, we have meliorism.

Quantonics HotMeme: Without DQ, without evolution, without emergent change borne of quantum flux, "betterings are impossible." Quantonics HotMeme™.

Hume's voluminous texts appear to evidently belie his own Cratylean "radical scepticism." If he were that kind of sceptic he would neither write n¤r say anything.

So a more gentle scepticism must allow for us to both write and say some notions and memes regarding it. We cann¤t call that 'radical' though, can we?

We have other problems with Hume and his role-played scepticism too. He similarly ranks scepticism, sophism, and probability. We offer links in our table below showing this. Hume claims that sceptics use probability to make their points. To Hume (while role-playing rational reason), probability simply diminishes all it touches (Hume appears to Doug as actually believing this...). Our Columbia definition appears to show scepticism sharing other similarity with Ockham's minimalism. Does that beg a classical notion that scepticism requires reduction? We would argue that scepticism needs more, n¤t less to be sceptical... And Hume (while role-playing rational reason) writes as though he agrees with a classical, dialectical minimalism which abides judgment as 'general rules,' and imagination as useless qualitative stuff which we classically, minimistically, formally, mechanically must learn to excise. Is general-reduction's outcome general? Rather it is specific, is it n¤t? Does n¤t reduction increase specificity? Are n¤t 'laws,' 'axioms,' 'canonic rules,' ideally reduced specificities treated as general principles? Dialectic oxymoronically claims specificity as general! See...dialectic is garbage, bilge. (Dialecticians have been attempting to turn reality and humans into machines for millennia. But, now, c. 2007, we are commencing understandings how n¤ne of reality issi what dialecticians intend by 'formal-mechanical.')

But are general rules sceptical? In 'science' which rules do you know which question, sceptically, themselves? Ancient Chaldeans had an enlightening remark about that, "Principle rules something not itself." So, if we are careful with Hume (while role-playing rational reason), we find that his acceptance of "general rules" nearly has to be an indictment of any rule as self-sceptical. All classical rules must be canonically stable. Stability 'rules out' any heretical memes of self~recursion! That kind of stable, general rules 'reduction' classicists refer 'simplification' via SOM's knife. (Logical scalpeling as dialectic's own 'Jack de Rippier.')

Yet Granger, T. H. Green (editor-publisher of AToHN, 1898 Longman Green edition; see below), and some others including our definition above, say that Hume is a "radical scepticist," at least "a sceptic." Were they to say "Hume is skilled at role-playing 'radical scepticism,'" we would agree and applaud their prescience, perspicacity, and perspicuity.

Doug senses that we need a Chautauqua on classes of scepticism, including (Consider this December, 2007 TQS News issue as installment one of a multi-month feuilleton Chautauqua which will only end when said feuilleton, to Doug's satisfaction, reviews fully Granger's new book and criticizes issues borne of it...welcome aboard!):

Classes of scepticism -

So we will agree with Hume as a sceptic if you mean that:

More...and...similar, when Hume pretends scepticism in his two AToHN Book I, Part IV sections on Scepticism with Regard to -Reason and -Senses he describes his pretended scepticism in terms of probability, uncertainty, and sophism. Interestingly Hume, role-playing rational reason, hates both probability, its attendant uncertainty, and sophism! Do you see our conundrum here? Extreme scepticism Hume role-play describes in AToHN isn't his minimalist-rules 'dialectical scepticism,' rather, is nearly a perfect description of what we intend by c. 2007 quantum~philosophy!!! We believe that is beyond newsworthy! Shades of Sokal! Doug - 23Nov2007.

We take a position that we may have to view Hume's role-playing of scepticism as anti-sceptic (even philosophically anti-septic - ), while weighing his views of knowledge as limited much alike his own implicit Platonic-Aristotelian naïve dialectical scepticism. Former is more quantum~real. Latter is classical-formal. We have another both~and of sorts. That both~and, its evolute~empiricism, its included~middle, its intrinsic flux, full~scope~partial~quantum~uncertainty, etc., are what we mean by real quantum~complementarity and we show as quanton(DQ,SQ). Simply put, Hume's role-played scepticism of scepticism is quantum~real to us. Such self~other~referent recursion mimics how nature evolves physially. Flux~enabled up to Planck rate physial recursion issi absolute quantum change. Hume's bi-modal Poisson~Bracketings' role-playing exhibits his partial uncertainties regarding both dialectic and scepticism. To us, Hume has elevated himself above almost all of us and he did it nearly 300 years ago! Of course that bellicose phasement depends upon Doug's assessments of Hume in this Chautauqua being better.

Make sure you grasp what Doug means by 'partial' here. Here's a quick review of Quantonics' version of quantum~partiality:

Recall Bergson's view of reality in its own evolutionary
progress, its own
Creative Evolution. From any Bergsonian
complementarospective all process is in progress and always
when we compare its
nowings to its potential futurings.

You now are partially who you will be tomorrow, and next day...

Doug - 24Oct2006.

See our coined complementarospective.

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™.

Fathom that HotMeme™ in quint~Essene~tial Light of evolving holograms' emergent, often n¤væl, nexi.

All which evolves is always quantum~partially what it will be nextings.
'Done' is always an dialectical illusion, a self-delusion.
(All housewives, househusbands, and sanitary engineers grasp Essene~ce of this quantum~reality. )

What you think is always quantum~partially what you will be thinkq-king as your learning evolves.
That is why you see Doug write, "...we are all — always — studentings, never above studentings..."

What one says is always only partially what one might say and what one says changes and evolves with growth and evolution of learning.

"Doug how can we say this simply, in Quantonicsese?"

Like this, Quantonics HotMeme™ "All quantons are enthymemetic and all enthymemes relentlessly evolve." Quantonics HotMeme™.

Ænthymæmæ: Quantonically,
"partial logic," whose partiality is both
always phasistic, incomplete, dynamically evolving, and
beyond any state-ic notion of 'full or canonic description,'

AKA "coquecigrues."

OK, OK, we know this has been bugging you, and you ask, "Doug, how can quantum change be absolute and quantum~uncertainty be partial?" We answer this below in our review of paragraphs 10-11, but we will repeat it here: "Quantum reality is radically stochastic; however, its relative flux rates range from imperceptibly slow to greater than 1043 changes per unit spatial~flux reference." Simply cosmic rates and geological rates of change are absolute, but their manifestations of uncertainty tend to be far apart on a human sensory scale yet huger in impact. Exemplar? Shoemaker-Levy comet striking Jupiter. Slower flux rates (like Earth's cycloidal pattern around Sol, and Sol's cycloidal pattern around Milky-Way) offer a human sensory illusion of determinacy which really doesn't exist due macroscopic quantum uncertainty. Faster flux rates, ones easily within (and ~1021 others vastly above) human sensory bandwidths, tend to make uncertainty more apparent.

There, we have a decent summary of our concerns...

To round this discussion off, we admit our quantum~c¤nundrum puts us in a position of having to criticise Granger's claim, and any others' similar claims, that Hume "embraces radical scepticism." Simply, we do n¤t agree that one may simply assess Hume as "embracing radical scepticism." Too, we sense there are many similar issues pending in Granger's Dewey and Pirsig, The Art of Living.

So far, we find only one observable basis, in AToHN, for calling Hume a "scepticist," but it admits only partial scepticism on Hume's confession of being sceptical about scepticism and sceptical about rational reason, and to us, that confession does n¤t admit 'radical' scepticism. Too, Hume's confession cries for his personal denial of dialectic reason, yet we find n¤ 'final' evidence of that in AToHN! See our review of paragraphs 10-11 just below for a quick summary of issues involved here. If we are referring Hume's role-playing, then we might have to choose among Philo, Demea, and Cleanthes in Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Doug believes, so far, that Hume's role-playing in AToHN is his, to put it coarsely, double-entry 'bookkeeping' verification-validation of two visceral antithetics: rational reason and scepticism. His approach essentially fails and he senses he must confess his leanings...toward a kinder-gentler scepticism. We like that sense, wearing our own quantum pince nez (nose squeezers; say pans-nah), it makes Hume appear as a proto quantum~hermeneuticist. We are about to spend significant timings in attempts to justify that potential apparition.

Allow us to use a table for side-by-side comparison of Hume, Granger, and Renselle:

Comparisons of Hume, Granger, and Renselle on Hume's Scepticism.

"The common plan of seeking this history [of philosophical opinion]
in compendia of the systems of philosophical writers, taken in
the gross or with no discrimination except in regard to time
and popularity is mainly to blame for the common
notion that metaphysical enquiry is an endless
process of threshing old straw."

T. H. Green, page 2, paragraph 2
of his editorial Introduction
in Volume I of Hume's AToHN,
1898 edition,
Longmans, Green and Co.

Were it n¤t for Hume and our s~heroes like him: Heraclitus, Zeno, Hypatia, Bruno, Bergson,
James, Pirsig, Bohr, Schrödinger, Bohm, Mae-wan Ho, etc., we could n¤t
evolve our learning which may contemporaneously allow
us to "thresh old straw" and leave behind
huge piles of dialectical chafe.
Doug - 30Nov2007.

©Quantonics, Inc., and Doug Renselle 2007-2010

Hume on Scepticism

Granger on Hume's Scepticism

Renselle on Hume's Scepticism

Book I - Introduction - Paragraph 3:

[In Doug's view Hume commences this paragraph pro rational reason and con metaphysics parts of which may encompass memes of scepticism.]

"From hence in my opinion arises that common prejudice against metaphysical reasonings of all kinds, even amongst those, who profess themselves scholars, and have a just value for every other part of literature. By metaphysical reasonings, they do not understand those on any particular branch of science, but every kind of argument, which is any way abstruse, and requires some attention to be comprehended. We have so often lost our labour in such [metaphysical] researches, that we commonly reject them without hesitation, and resolve, if we must for ever be a prey to errors and delusions, that they shall at least be natural and entertaining. [If you choose to read Hume's whole Introduction, we believe you will find him adorefully praising empirical experience based upon immediate sensory data as only bases for human reason. Any meta~reasoning is a waste of humanity's time, in Hume's opinion. Consider limitations of human sensory bandwidth.] And indeed nothing but the most determined [Is this a kind of dialectical...] scepticism, [...Hume is using against a more sophist kind of scepticism?] along with a great degree of indolence, can justify this aversion to metaphysics. For if truth be at all within the reach of human capacity, 'tis certain it must lie very deep and abstruse: and to hope we shall arrive at it without pains, while the greatest geniuses have failed with the utmost pains, must certainly be esteemed sufficiently vain and presumptuous. I pretend to no such advantage in the philosophy I am going to unfold, and would esteem it a strong presumption against it, were it so very easy and obvious." Doug's bold and color.

[It appears to Doug that Hume ends that paragraph pro scepticism. In between we see a kind of philosophical wobbling, mayhaps a Li-la dance? To and fro, back and forth...waves, quantum~wavings, quantum~uncertainty, but, but, but, waves are stochastic...Mr. Hume...Li-la is waves...Mr. Hume... Doug - 13Aug2008.]

Doug's bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • orange-bold - text ref'd by index pages
  • green-bold - we see Hume proffering, unintentionally, quantumesque memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
    In Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion we mark most 'classical English language problematics' using bold violet. It seems fair to mark our own uses too. As you read do some substitutions on your own: di to omni, con to com, not to n¤t, in to ihn, discard wasted the and when discard is impossible use possessives, etc. See our QELR. See our QELP.
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Hume's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary
  • [] - our intra text commentary

Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..." quoted from page 56, Granger's 2006 Dewey and Pirsig, The Art of Living.

Reader, is it apparent to you, upon reading paragraph left that Granger has misassessed, misattributed Hume's "radical scepticism?"

Yet, we will have occasion to show how others, like T. H. Green in our mast quote above, tended to read Hume as a scepticist!

Caveat for our readers re: 'aver,' and 'aversion.'

Modern 'usage' of 'aver' means affirm! See Roget's Thesaurus.

Apparently (we are unsure about this), Hume is using 'aver' and 'aversion' in a sense and semantic as 'negation,' perhaps even 'disaffimration.'

Doug retained a negative Humean interpretation of aver as similar 'adverse.' We do n¤t intend 'affirmation' here in our descriptions of Hume's views of scepticism and metaphysics.

Doug - 13Aug2008.

After reading Granger on Dewey and Pirsig, it is clear here that Hume is doing his best in those first three sentences to drive Quality out of his reasonings. Metaphysics attempts to bring "every kind of argument, which is any way abstruse, and requires some attention to be comprehended" into question so that we may stindyanic~holographically understand reality more completely. Hume, rather, adheres Ockhamistic simplification, in absence of which makes us unable, "to hope we shall arrive at it without pains." So distilled here, it appears Hume is saying, "Truth should be easy to assess, easy truth is good truth." But latter phrase is an oxymoron even in dialectical idealities. Compare truth and truth.

Hume, as a good dialectical classicist, hates Metaphysics. He shouldn't! Metaphysics assumes enthymemeticity, partial coquecigrues. That assumption begs uncertainty. Both impose on all thinkqers philosophical humility via an always present kind of natural holographic inter~intra~middle~including always~fluxing~ensemble(ings) uncertain~proviso massively~heterogeneous~con(m)ditionality(ings).

We sense this is how Granger and Green, et al., refer Hume's "embracing radical scepticism." Why? Hume claims 'scepticism' possesses an aversion to metaphysics. So does dialectic! So do positivists! So do radical finalists! Etc.

But isn't scepticism a lack of assuredness? A glaring presence of uncertainty, at least partial~uncertainty? How can a scepticist justify an aversion? See Hume's own naïve objective negation? Would n¤t a sceptic question all 'justifications?' Hume doesn't like metaphysics (a dichon(not_like, like). Can a scepticist practice dialectic and still be called a scepticist? Metaphysics looks at as much as it can. Metaphysics grasps a meme that whatever we do is only partial. We may n¤t suppose a set of axioms and declare that whole reality (which is what 'modern' science does). In that sense, metaphysics is 'radically sceptical,' n¤t Hume's dialectical aversion to Metaphysics! Isn't that obvious? Hume, in Doug's view, appears massively ignorant here. Unless he is saying scepticism's aversion to metaphysics is what we should be 'sceptical' about. But that, apparently, is n¤t how most of us read that paragraph.

Here is a sequence, simplified, attempting to filter what Hume is saying:

  • there is a common prejudice against metaphysics,
  • common thinkers who use metaphysics do not understand science,
  • Hume's metaphysical efforts have been a waste of his time,
  • Hume rejects metaphysics as a result,
  • only a determined scepticism justifies aversion to metaphysics,
  • Hume believes truth is non trivial and he claims no self-hubris, no advantage in finding it

Last bullet appears to be showing Hume as a sceptic. Last bullet also requires Hume to be uncertain, does it n¤t? So sceptics are uncertain? Elsewhere (countless examples here...) Hume expresses his visceral dislike of any uncertainty...

Is Hume saying scepticism is bad because it avers metaphysics? (Doug can make a case that this could be what Hume is writing.)

Is Hume saying scepticism is good because it avers metaphysics? (We sense that Granger agrees with this view.)

Which is it? Are you sure about that? Shouldn't you be sceptical, instead? Are sceptics sure about their scepticism? Can scepticism be 'a fact' to any scepticist? Shouldn't scepticists be sceptical about their scepticism? Doug.

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

"Vulgi opinio Error"
Thomas Digges
(Bluntly, "Common opinon is phony.")

"Applied to the world as representative of all the world, facts become superstitions."
Julian Jaynes

For Doug, at least in AToHN, it is apparent that Hume views scepticism as error in human reason. (For Doug, what Doug believes in: quantum~reality, scepticism and quantum~uncertainty, quantum~sophism, quantum~probability are all tells of quantum~reality. So Doug, be it known now, is a quantum~sceptic. In Doug's quantum~scepticism, it appears to Doug that Hume is n¤ sceptic! He may be a partial sceptic, partial positivist, but that too is a quantum~tell. His lack of self~assurance about this is a clue. But when he claims "sceptics aver metaphysics," we have a BIG problem. At best we could be sceptical about metaphysics; how could we 'aver' it?

"There is Trouble Right Here in River City!"

Elsewhere Hume demonstrates beautifully and profoundly how he understands scepticism (See Hume's AToHN, Book I, Part IV Sections I & II, links below.), yet he rejects ("avers") it as irrational and "sophist."

Of course, quantum~reality is sophism regardless how one chooses to view it. Quantum~reality shows us how reality is uncertain, at least in any sense of enthymemetics. Granger makes us keenly aware of this in his descriptions of Dewey's great interest in Heisenberg's work on quantum~uncertainty.

Take a moment to fathom Doug's holographic memeo of 'simplicity.'

Book I - Part III Of Knowledge and Probability - Section XIII Of Unphilosophical Probability - Paragraph 12:

[Here Hume appears to Doug as starting his paragraph against rational reason as naught but social and cultural custom...then he appears to switch to favoring rational reason via some promise of 'general rules.' He ends it in a full press of judgment (presumably based upon rational reason) over imagination (possibly a source of scepticism).]

"But why need we seek for other instances, while the present subject of philosophical probabilities offers us so obvious an one, in the opposition betwixt the judgment and imagination arising from these effects of custom? According to my system, all reasonings are nothing but the effects of custom; and custom has no influence, but by inlivening the imagination, and giving us a strong conception of any object. It may, therefore, be concluded, that our judgment and imagination can never be contrary, and that custom cannot operate on the latter faculty after such a manner, as to render it opposite to the former. This difficulty we can remove after no other manner, than by supposing the influence of general rules. We shall afterwards take notice of some general rules, by which we ought to regulate our judgment concerning causes and effects; and these rules are form'd on the nature of our understanding, and on our experience of its operations in the judgments we form concerning objects. By them we learn to distinguish the accidental circumstances from the efficacious causes; and when we find that an effect can be produc'd without the concurrence of any particular circumstance, we conclude that that circumstance makes not a part of the efficacious cause, however frequently conjoin'd with it. But as this frequent conjunction necessity makes it have some effect on the imagination, in spite of the opposite conclusion from general rules, the opposition of these two principles produces a contrariety in our thoughts, and causes us to ascribe the one inference to our judgment, and the other to our imagination. The general rule is attributed to our judgment; as being more extensive and constant. The exception to the imagination, as being more capricious and uncertain. [21Nov2007 Doug note...We need this paragraph to establish more con(m)text for that which follows.]

[In Hume's next paragraph, he starts off in our view, as being sceptical of general rules and thus presumably rational reason. Then he starts his Li-la dance again and waffles to and fro with sceptics rising to fore and making our endeavor even pleasurable. Doug.]

"Thus our general rules are in a manner set in opposition to each other. When an object appears, that resembles any cause in very considerable circumstances, the imagination naturally carries us to a lively conception of the usual effect, Tho' the object be different in the most material and most efficacious circumstances from that cause. Here is the first influence of general rules. But when we take a review of this act of the mind, and compare it with the more general and authentic operations of the understanding, we find it to be of an irregular nature, and destructive of all the most established principles of reasonings; which is the cause of our rejecting it [imagination's "...lively conception of the usual effect"]. This is a second influence [i.e., "...authentic operations of the understanding"] of general rules, and implies the condemnation of the former [i.e., "imagination"]. Sometimes the one, sometimes the other prevails, according to the disposition and character of the person. The vulgar are commonly guided by the first [i.e., "imagination"], and wise men by the second [i.e., "...authentic operations of the understanding"]. Mean while the sceptics may here have the pleasure of observing a new and signal contradiction in our reason, and of seeing all philosophy ready to be subverted by a principle of human nature, and again sav'd by a new direction of the very same principle. The following of general rules is a very unphilosophical species of probability; and yet 'tis only by following them that we can correct this, and all other unphilosophical probabilities." [Quantum reality, indeed, does just that: It uses probability, which Hume hates [appears to hate: a Li-la dance of apparitional love thence apparitional hate, thence love thence hate...], to subvert classical role-played SOMwittedness like Hume's "...authentic operations of the understanding"]

Doug's color and brackets to assist those unaccustomed to Hume's obfuscatory and profuse dialectic. 21Nov2007 - Doug.

Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

Readers should be aware that Hume's reason is questionable mainly due his rejection of quantum~reality. At least read our link in next row down to grasp why Doug says that.

In that first paragraph, on judgment (as "general rule(s)") vis-à-vis customary imagination, which Doug prepended to enhance con(m)text, Hume describes reason, using general rules, as both judgment and imagination. Then he tells us to throw away imagination. Our analogy would be Pirsig's SQ as state-ic judgment (Demos will) and Pirsig's DQ as dynamic imagination (quantum~flux) with Hume tossing out DQ!

quanton(DQ,SQ) issi quanton(~,o);
see Bergson's quantifiable circle as non qualitative duration.

Any "radical sceptic" would use DQ to demonstrate that SQ per se is simply bogus.

Doesn't this show that Hume is anything but a "radical sceptic?"

In that second paragraph Hume goes on to say DQ and SQ contradict one another. This is a typical classicism based upon an assumption that SQ is real and DQ simply doesn't 'exist.'

Global warmists take a similar tack in an SQ assumption that warming is root causal 1-1 correspondent anthropogenic when indeed other affectors like Earth's core weather, moon, Sun's core and surface weathers have immense affectings on Earth's weather vastly beyond relatively trivial anthropogenic CO2.


In our second paragraph quote of Hume, we attempt to make a point that 'radical scepticism' which finds its bases in probability is quantum. But Hume despises probability as that which diminishes judgment, diminishes dialectical reason. In our view, Hume ranks probability and scepticism as sharing rough equivalence, so if Hume hates probability, and he does, how can anyone view him as a "radical sceptic?" Too if you advocate following "general rules," using "...'authentic' operations of the understanding," how can you be a sceptic? Wouldn't a sceptic challenge both "rules" and "authentic operations?" What and who makes said rules? Who omnistinguishes authenticity? Doug - 23Nov2007.

See our review of Book I - Part IV - Section I Scepticism with Regard to Reason, which contains next occurrences of 'sceptic.' Browser search for 'sceptic' there. Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

This link is where Doug first (thought, believed he) realized Hume's absolute hatred of probability and his association with it of 'radical' scepticism.

See p. 174, para. 1, text and commentary for a quick summary.

See our review of Book I - Part IV - Section II Scepticism with Regard to the Senses, which contains next occurrences of 'sceptic.' Browser search for 'sceptic' there. Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..." Doug offers extensive detail at this link. It will take you some timings to wade through it.

Book I - Part IV - Section III Of the Antient Philosophy - Paragraph 10:

[In this paragraph Hume rips dialectic's rational reason to shreds for what it does to minds using it: mechanical habituation of running on mental intelligence. An ultimate dialectical and sheigmful deign to feign. Doug concurs with this, and has to admit Hume's realization that rational reason has n¤ firm footings. Now is this an indicator of Hume "embracing radical scepticism?" What Hume is doing it radical scepticism? Can we call it that? Can we call it outright rejection of classical thing-king? Doug - 1Dec2007.]

"But as nature seems to have observ'd a kind of justice and compensation in every thing, she has not neglected philosophers more than the rest of the creation; but has reserv'd them a consolation amid all their disappointments and afflictions. This consolation principally consists in their invention of the words: faculty and occult quality. For it being usual, after the frequent use of terms, which are really significant and intelligible, to omit the idea, which we wou'd express by them, and to preserve only the custom, by which we recal the idea at pleasure; so it naturally happens, that after the frequent use of terms, which are wholly insignificant and unintelligible, we fancy them to be on the same footing with the precedent, and to have a secret meaning, which we might discover by reflection. The resemblance of their appearance deceives the mind, as is usual, and makes us imagine a thorough resemblance and conformity. By this means these philosophers set themselves at ease, and arrive at last, by an illusion, at the same indifference, which the people attain by their stupidity, and true philosophers by their moderate scepticism. They need only say, that any phenomenon, which puzzles them, arises from a faculty or an occult quality, and there is an end of all dispute and enquiry upon the matter."

Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

Hume omniscloses one of dialectic's hugest problematics like this, " preserve only the custom, by which we recal the idea at pleasure..." which Pirsig showed us as DQ becoming SQ, and then habituated SQ becomes a dreaded ESQ. Doug calls this a formal, dialectical process of "running on automatic." SOMites excel at it. SOMites are most happy when they are doing this: action-behavior absent thought. An ultimate SOMitic chronic intellectual laziness. DIQheadedness. Robo-zombiism! State-ically, stoppable, eventic (i.e., self-contradictory ESQ 'state' change as classical 'instantaneous' process - Doug) and measurable numeric IQ!

Result? " naturally happens, that after the frequent use of terms, which are wholly insignificant and unintelligible, we fancy them to be on the same footing with the precedent..." and as Pirsig wrote, "The map becomes the territory," and custom becomes a tragedy of commons sense: intellectual determinacy as fixed IQ, DIQ. Ideally stopped mental know ledges running without reflection on habitual automatic. Thing-king mechanicity. Oh joy, oh joy!

And if this isn't obvious, Doug knows n¤t what is:

"By this means these philosophers set themselves at ease, and arrive at last, by an illusion, at the same indifference, which the people attain by their stupidity, and true philosophers by their moderate scepticism. They need only say, that any phenomenon, which puzzles them, arises from a faculty or an occult quality, and there is an end of all dispute and enquiry upon the matter."

It seems fair to say using that quote that Hume finds philosophical notions of philosophical qualitative phenomena abhorrent. If Doug's assessment has any validity, then we may infer Hume not as a "radical sceptic," rather as a "radical dialectician." Depending upon Hume's role-play, we can argue in favor of that argument's complement.

But then, apparently agreeing with Granger and Green, Hume says true philosophers arrive at their own indifference via their moderate scepticism.

His genius, his brilliance, to us is his 'my confessed two-selves' role-playing of various philosophies from his either rational or sceptical perspectives. Hume is a great actor and demonstrates that for us in his dialogues. See our in-progress review of Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Book I - Part IV - Section IV Of the Modern Philosophy - Paragraphs 1-5 (Offered as con(m)text for paragraph 6's reference to 'sceptic.'):

"But here it may be objected, that the imagination, according to my own confession, being the ultimate judge of all systems of philosophy, I am unjust in blaming the antient philosophers for making use of that faculty, and allowing themselves to be entirely guided by it in their reasonings. In order to justify myself, I must distinguish in the imagination betwixt the principles which are permanent, irresistible, and universal; such as the customary transition from causes to effects, and from effects to causes: And the principles, which are changeable, weak, and irregular; such as those I have just now taken notice of. The former are the foundation of all our thoughts and actions, so that upon their removal human nature must immediately perish and go to ruin. The latter are neither unavoidable to mankind, nor necessary, or so much as useful in the conduct of life; but on the contrary are observ'd only to take place in weak minds, and being opposite to the other principles of custom and reasoning, may easily be subverted by a due contrast and opposition. For this reason the former are received by philosophy, and the latter rejected. One who concludes somebody to be near him, when he hears an articulate voice in the dark, reasons justly and naturally; tho' that conclusion be deriv'd from nothing but custom, which infixes and inlivens the idea of a human creature, on account of his usual conjunction with the present impression. But one, who is tormented he knows not why, with the apprehension of spectres in the dark, may, perhaps, be said to reason, and to reason naturally too: But then it must be in the same sense, that a malady is said to be natural; as arising from natural causes, tho' it be contrary to health, the most agreeable and most natural situation of man.

[Hume, in prior and following paragraph isn't practicing 'radical scepticism,' rather Hume is practicing radical multicontextualism! Dialecticians insist on OGC! That is to say they want their logical, analytical domain to be 'context free.' What Hume shows here is how reality is many contexts, each with their own sets of common sense, local universalisms, local laws, principles, canons, axioms, standard procedures, etc. Transliterate 'local' in front of each bold red term below...]

"The opinions of the antient philosophers, their fictions of substance and accident, and their reasonings concerning substantial forms and occult qualities, are like the spectres in the dark, and are deriv'd from principles, which, however common, are neither universal nor unavoidable in human nature. The modern philosophy pretends to be entirely free from this defect, and to arise only from the solid, permanent, and consistent principles of the imagination. Upon what grounds this pretension is founded must now be the subject of our enquiry.

"The fundamental principle of that philosophy is the opinion concerning colours, sounds, tastes, smells, heat and cold; which it asserts to be nothing but impressions in the mind, deriv'd from the operation of external objects, and without any resemblance to the qualities of the objects. [Outright Humean rejection of rational reason whose bases are data sensory. Doug.] Upon examination, I find only one of the reasons commonly produc'd for this opinion to be satisfactory, viz. that deriv'd from the variations of those impressions, even while the external object, to all appearance, continues the same. These variations depend upon several circumstances. Upon the different situations of our health: A man in a malady feels a disagreeable taste in meats, which before pleas'd him the most. Upon the different complexions and constitutions of men That seems bitter to one, which is sweet to another. Upon the difference of their external situation and position: Colours reflected from the clouds change according to the distance of the clouds, and according to the angle they make with the eye and luminous body. Fire also communicates the sensation of pleasure at one distance, and that of pain at another. [Nonclassical, subjective, qualitative...] Instances of this kind are very numerous and frequent.

[Hume's previous paragraph appears to Doug as a superb example of a Humean Poisson Bracket of Li-la dancing's omnistributionings representing real quantum waves. Hume appears to Doug as practicing waveMBU™ intuitively. Bergson would love this wethinks.]

"The conclusion drawn from them, is likewise as satisfactory as can possibly be imagin'd. 'Tis certain, that when different impressions of the same sense arise from any object, every one of these impressions has not a resembling quality existent in the object. For as the same object cannot, at the same time, be endow'd with different qualities of the same sense, and as the same quality cannot resemble impressions entirely different; it evidently follows, that many of our impressions have no external model or archetype. Now from like effects we presume like causes. Many of the impressions of colour, sound, &c., are confest to be nothing but internal existences, and to arise from causes, which no ways resemble them. These impressions are in appearance nothing different from the other impressions of colour, sound, &c. We conclude, therefore, that they are, all of them, deriv'd from a like origin. [Hume appears to be using a rational context to show how it 'cannot' explain qualities which emerge in that context. We see how assumptions of OGC induce extreme philosophical anguish. Hume doesn't exhibit even a slightest hint here of grasping realities' holographicityings: for each of us omnifferingly multisensory and to make it even more systemically-complex we need fathom holographicity as coobsfective, observed and observing, each of which exhibits aspects which classicists refer either mind or body, yet which modern c. 2007 quantum science claims are holographically both~and quantum~coherent. Bottom line here, can Hume, should Hume use a rational reason context to exhibit scepticism? Is that a good thing? Can contexts, whether rational, whether sceptical, exhibit other than self? If a rational context exhibits scepticism can it be rational? If a sceptical context exhibits rationalism can it be sceptical? Might be a good effort to re review Gödel, you think? In Quantonics quantum~reality can we write quanton(scepticism,rationalism) and garner holographic semantic as quantum~superposition of phase~encoding quantum~waves? If so, issi both~and superior either-or? Would that kind of thinkq-king have helped Hume? Mayhaps we are seeing him doing somewhat similar that? But is that 'radical scepticism?' Doug - 1Dec2007.]

"This principle [Hume appears to intend OGC here. He appears to be endorsing rational reason here, also. Doug - 1Dec2007.] being once admitted, all the other doctrines of that philosophy seem to follow by an easy consequence. For upon the removal of sounds, colours, beat, cold, and other sensible qualities, from the rank of continu'd independent existences, we are reduc'd merely to what are called primary qualities, as the only real ones., of which we have any adequate notion. These primary qualities are extension and solidity, with their different mixtures and modifications; figure, motion, gravity, and cohesion. The generation, encrease, decay, and corruption of animals and vegetables, are nothing but changes of figure and motion; as also the operations of all bodies on each other; of fire, of light, water, air, earth, and of all the elements and powers of nature. One figure and motion produces another figure and motion; nor does there remain in the material universe any other principle, either active or passive, of which we can form the most distant idea." [Hume just summarized and appears to be endorsing rational reason in this last paragraph preparatory to paragraph 6. Doug - 1Dec2007.]

[Above paragraphs offered as con(m)textings for this one which refers 'sceptic.']

Book I - Part IV - Section IV Of the Modern Philosophy - Paragraph 6:

"I believe many objections might be made to this system [i.e., OGC rational reason...] But at present I shall [...either-or selectively] confine myself to one, which is in my opinion very decisive. I assert, that instead of explaining the operations of external objects by its means, we utterly annihilate all these objects, and reduce ourselves to the opinions of the most extravagant scepticism concerning them. If colours, sounds, tastes, and smells be merely perceptions, nothing we can conceive is possest of a real, continu'd, and independent existence; not even motion, extension and solidity, which are the primary qualities chiefly insisted on."

That paragraph makes Hume appear as a sceptic. It is blatantly apparent. Prior paragraph, number 5, Hume appears as a rationalist.

Taken together Hume's paragraphs 5 and 6 offer a divine dance, Li-la, for our direct observation and con(m)templation...Doug - 1Dec2007.

Then, next paragraph, just below, he disclaims his scepticism. Hume is playing two roles here: sceptic and anti-sceptic. His Li-la dance is emerqing a wave, a quantum wave!

Doug claims that Hume is role-playing classical dichon(anti-sceptic, sceptic), which we could interpret as a Li-la dance of:


If Hume is role-playing quanton(anti~sceptic,sceptic), Doug can be excited about Hume's potential as a great Scottish quantumist. His Poisson Bracket is evident!

His writing style can easily confuse since he does not announce which role he is playing. Mayhaps he wants us to deduce it from within each view's local perspective without coobsfection?

Doug - 28Nov2007.

Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

What Hume simply fails to grasp is that imagination of 'antient' philosophers is what Pirsig meant by Quality which SOMites arrogantly reject.

To leave SOM's church of reason, we MoQites must learn to use our imaginations. Even Einstein admitted that without imagination there is no 'science,' classical though it may be. Imagination as raw quantum~hermeneutics in Quantonics is a significant part of what we mean by Tapping Into Reserve Energy.

From whence con(m)jecture? From whence heuristic? Simple answer: "Leaps of imagination! Quantum leaps if you will."

Doug always wondered how Pirsig had perceived that some minds of 'Newtonian enlightenment' could reject 'antient' sophists' quantum intuitions out of hand. These five paragraphs stand as a vivid exemplar.

We believe that Pirsig's MoQ would argue that we need both judgment and imagination, and it is faulty to adhere Hume's Platypusean either judgment or imagination.

We also see Hume and Cratylus at Platypusean dialectical extremes of a philosophical spectrum:

Book I - Part IV - Section VII Conclusion of This Book (I) - Paragraph 7:

"But on the other hand, if the consideration of these instances makes us take a resolution to reject all the trivial suggestions of the fancy, and adhere to the understanding, that is, to the general and more established properties of the imagination; even this resolution, if steadily executed, wou'd be dangerous, and attended with the most fatal consequences. For I have already shewn, that the understanding, when it acts alone, and according to its most general principles, entirely subverts itself, and leaves not the lowest degree of evidence in any proposition, either in philosophy or common life. We save ourselves from this total scepticism only by means of that singular and seemingly trivial property of the fancy, by which we enter with difficulty into remote views of things, and are not able to accompany them with so sensible an impression, as we do those, which are more easy and natural. Shall we, then, establish it for a general maxim, that no refin'd or elaborate reasoning is ever to be receiv'd? Consider well the consequences of such a principle. By this means you cut off entirely all science and philosophy: You proceed upon one singular quality of the imagination, and by a parity of reason must embrace all of them: And you expressly contradict yourself; since this maxim must be built on the preceding reasoning, which will be allow'd to be sufficiently refin'd and metaphysical. What party, then, shall we choose among these difficulties? If we embrace this principle, and condemn all refin'd reasoning, we run into the most manifest absurdities. If we reject it in favour of these reasonings, we subvert entirely the, human understanding. We have, therefore, no choice left but betwixt a false reason and none at all. For my part, know not what ought to be done in the present case. I can only observe what is commonly done; which is, that this difficulty is seldom or never thought of; and even where it has once been present to the mind, is quickly forgot, and leaves but a small impression behind it. Very refin'd reflections have little or no influence upon us; and yet we do not, and cannot establish it for a rule, that they ought not to have any influence; which implies a manifest contradiction."


Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

This is becoming more and more interesting.

How does Hume treat these terms? More important c. 2007, how should we treat these terms? These, folks, are the BIG ones. Essence of understanding and standingunder:

  1. fact
  2. true
  3. flux
  4. stop
  5. new
  6. state
  7. truth
  8. meta
  9. unity
  10. value
  11. judge
  12. novel
  13. phase
  14. social
  15. canon
  16. negate
  17. certain
  18. reason
  19. radical
  20. sceptic
  21. quality
  22. middle
  23. change
  24. science
  25. rational
  26. absolute
  27. quantity
  28. concrete
  29. absolute (Strike unintended second occurrence of 'absolute.' Doug - 17Nov2008.)
  30. opposite
  31. sophism
  32. complete
  33. inclusion
  34. universal
  35. uncertain
  36. creativity
  37. exclusion
  38. consistent
  39. individual
  40. probability
  41. imagination
  42. associativity
  43. metaphysics
  44. immutability
  45. identi-ty, -cal
  46. understanding
  47. etc.

If you are a teacher, a professor, a parent... Look at each of those terms classically and quantumly. Then...fathom to depths of your individual qua what each term means in each of those (only) two con(m)texts. Discuss them with your kids...PLEASE! Try doing them as PBs of pro, con, sceptic, rationalist, too. Doug - 28Nov2007.

Book I - Part IV - Section VII Conclusion of This Book (I) - Paragraphs 10-11:


"Here then I find myself absolutely and necessarily determin'd to live, and talk, and act like other people in the common affairs of life. But notwithstanding that my natural propensity, and the course of my animal spirits and passions reduce me to this indolent belief in the general maxims of the world, I still feel such remains of my former disposition, that I am ready to throw all my books and papers into the fire, and resolve never more to renounce the pleasures of life for the sake of reasoning and philosophy. For those are my sentiments in that splenetic humour, which governs me at present. I may, nay I must yield to the current of nature, in submitting to my senses and understanding; and in this blind submission I shew most perfectly my sceptical disposition and principles. But does it follow, that I must strive against the current of nature, which leads me to indolence and pleasure; that I must seclude myself, in some measure, from the commerce and society of men, which is so agreeable; and that I must torture my brains with subtilities [subtleties - PDR] and sophistries, at the very time that I cannot satisfy myself concerning the reasonableness of so painful an application, nor have any tolerable prospect of arriving by its means at truth and certainty. Under what obligation do I lie of making such an abuse of time? And to what end can it serve either for the service of mankind, or for my own private interest? No: If I must be a fool, as all those who reason or believe any thing certainly are, my follies shall at least be natural and agreeable. Where I strive against my inclination, I shall have a good reason for my resistance; and will no more be led a wandering into such dreary solitudes, and rough passages, as I have hitherto met with.

"These are the sentiments of my spleen and indolence; and indeed I must confess, that [classical] philosophy has nothing to oppose to them, and expects a victory more from the returns of a serious good-humour'd disposition, than from the force of reason and conviction. In all the incidents of life we ought still to preserve our scepticism. If we believe, that fire warms, or water refreshes, 'tis only because it costs us too much pains to think otherwise. Nay if we are philosophers, it ought only to be upon sceptical principles, and from an inclination, which we feel to the employing ourselves after that manner. Where reason is lively, and mixes itself with some propensity, it ought to be assented to. Where it does not, it never can have any title to operate upon us." [Doug agrees with dark green bold of those last few sentences with these qualifications: "sceptical principles" is an oxymoron; and in place of that oxymoron allow us to forever replace it with "quantum uncertainty." Latter which Doug denies as "radical scepticism." Quantum reality is radically stochastic; however, its relative flux rates range from imperceptibly slow to greater than 1043 changes per unit spatial~flux reference. Doug - 24Nov2007.]


Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

Doug believes Hume shows us his (at least) two selves, again, and answers our queries as to why he argues for and against scepticism and yet admits how he too can be sceptical. He does similarly with rational reason, for and against. PBs innate here, agree? Lila dancing? Hume, here admits his own quantum nature. Permit us a luxury of two approaches here:

  1. A study of paragraphs 10-11 just left, and
  2. A study of Hume's three uses of 'radical,' two in Book I and one in Book III.

A study of paragraphs 10-11 just left:

Hume, in Doug's opinion, shows us his own and very personal dichon(scepticism, reason). If we look even deeper, we see potential too for his:


It may appear as an either-or, a dialectical Pirsigean Platypus! It may appear as a both~and. When Hume reasons sometimes he has to throw scepticism to the winds. Other times he uses reason to uncloak an intrinsic scepticism. When Hume enjoys vulgar, common pursuit as his Art of Living, though, Hume becomes a scepticist, though perhaps n¤t 'radical.'

Here, Hume offers us few quantum sentiments of quanton(scepticism,reason). His dialectic tendencies enforce a mostly excluded-middle so well as to mostly disable any quantum thinkqing.

So what do Granger, Green, et al., mean by "radical scepticism?" Let's ask some questions:

  • Can, should a radical sceptic use definite articles? (the, it, etc.) Hume does, prolifically!
  • Can, should a radical sceptic prefer certainty above uncertainty? Hume does, prolifically!
  • Can, should a radical sceptic prefer stoppable state above change? Hume does!
  • Can, should a radical sceptic prefer object lisr above flux coinsidence? Hume does!
  • Can, should a radical sceptic prefer exclusion above inclusion of middles? Hume does!
  • Etc.

You may see how Doug wants to omniffer those who refer Hume "embracing radical scepticism."

In those paragraphs left Hume calls scepticism indolence!

Quantum philosophy of a quantum~reality offers a solution to all of this via a middle~included straddle of both scepticism and reason: a BAWAM(scepticism,reason)! But to do so, we must learn to embrace that which dialectic rejects, including:

  • quantum~flux, change as absolute and fractal self~other recapitulation: consistently changes and completely changes all, with all emerging as islandic radically uncommon partialities;
  • sophism;
  • rhetoric;
  • stochastics: probability, plausibility, likelihood;
  • ubiquitous quantum partiality due change and emerging local ensembles of actuality;

See our QTM.

Doug - 24Nov2007.

A study of Hume's three uses of 'radical,' two in Book I:

The word 'radical' appears only three times in AToHN.

Doug Commentary on Hume Quotation

Hume quoted from Book I of AToHN


We have already reviewed this paragraph as part of a larger review of Hume's Book I, Part IV, Section II, 'Scepticism with Regard to the Senses.'

We did not say this in that larger review, but Hume speaks here of curing scepticism as though it were some kind of dis ease.

Further he admits we all have it to greater and lesser degrees.

Doug sees some quantumness in Hume. Prior Granger, we had given up on Hume as a radical dialectician, but this pulls us back to him as having quantum intuitions. Bravo Granger!

Doug - 24Nov2007.

Last paragraph of Book I, Part IV, Section II, 'Scepticism with Regard to the Senses' -

"This sceptical doubt, both with respect to reason and the senses, is a malady, which can never be radically cur'd, but must return upon us every moment, however we may chace it away, and sometimes may seem entirely free from it. 'Tis impossible upon any system to defend either our understanding or senses; and we but expose them farther when we endeavour to justify them in that manner. As the sceptical doubt arises naturally from a profound and intense reflection on those subjects, it always encreases, the farther we carry our reflections, whether in opposition or conformity to it. Carelessness and in-attention alone can afford us any remedy. For this reason I rely entirely upon them; and take it for granted, whatever may be the reader's opinion at this present moment, that an hour hence he will be persuaded there is both an external and internal world; and going upon that supposition, I intend to examine some general systems both ancient and modern, which have been propos'd of both, before I proceed to a more particular enquiry concerning our impressions. This will not, perhaps, in the end be found foreign to our present purpose."


On Doug's use of bold violet here recall Henri Louis Bergson's two classical delusions:

  1. reality is stable, and
  2. objects in reality are independent of one another.

Hume's "Motion to all appearance induces no real nor essential change on the body, but only varies its relation to other objects" denies absolute quantum flux which always changes and changes all. Too, it denies real evolution of material reality which in any Art of Living is available to our senses via direct experience and observation.

You may see here in this paragraph how Doug tentatively wants to reject Hume as a radical dialectician.

This paragraph in n¤ way Begs our interpretation of Hume as a quantum sophist.

Also, it is apparent in Hume's use of negation he fails to cognize its natural subjectivity. This makes Doug question Hume's celebrity as a competent philosopher. See Bergson on "Negation is Subjective."

Dialectic is dead! Quantum sophism reigns!

Doug - 24Nov2007.

Paragraph 27 of Book I, Part IV, Section V, 'Of the Immateriality of the Soul' -

"First, I observe, that the word, action, according to this explication of it, can never justly be apply'd to any perception, as deriv'd from a mind or thinking substance. Our perceptions are all really different, and separable, and distinguishable from each other, and from everything else, which we can imagine: and therefore 'tis impossible to conceive, how they can be the action or abstract mode of any substance. The instance of motion, which is commonly made use of to shew after what manner perception depends, as an action, upon its substance, rather confounds than instructs us.' Motion to all appearance induces no real nor essential change on the body, but only varies its relation to other objects. But betwixt a person in the morning walking a garden with company, agreeable to him; and a person in the afternoon inclos'd in a dungeon, and full of terror, despair, and resentment, there seems to be a radical difference, and of quite another kind, than what is produc'd on a body by the change of its situation. As we conclude from the distinction and separability of their ideas, that external objects have a separate existence from each other; so when we make these ideas themselves our objects, we must draw the same conclusion concerning them, according to the precedent [classical - PDR] reasoning. At least it must be confest, that having idea of the substance of the soul, 'tis impossible for us to tell how it can admit of such differences, and even contrarieties of perception without any fundamental change; and consequently can never tell in what sense perceptions are actions of that substance. The use, therefore, of the word, action, unaccompany'd with any meaning, instead of that of modification, makes no addition to our knowledge, nor is of any advantage to the doctrine of the immateriality of the soul."

A study of Hume's three uses of 'radical,' one in Book III:

Doug Commentary on Hume Quotation

Hume quoted from Book III of AToHN


Hume's "as `tis impossible to change or correct any thing material in our nature" interpreted from any Quantonics quantum perspective is just bilge, intellectual garbage.

Quantum reality changes all and always changes!

More intellectual garbage: "...which is so necessary to the upholding of society...constrain others to a like regularity, and inforce the dictates of equity thro' the whole society."

Hume assumes law is universal, catholic. This is another huge dialectical Error based upon a tragic sense that One Global Context 'exists' and its one set of 'common sense' formal laws fit all.

Quantum reality shows us there are unlimited con(m)texts, n¤ne of which has legal authority over any other. MSFA, n¤t OSFA!

There is n¤ "the whole society."

Whose "justice?"

Whose "morals?"

Who decides?

Doug - 24Nov2007.

Paragraph six of Book III, Part II, Section VII, 'Of the Origin of Government' -

"The only difficulty, therefore, is to find out this expedient, by which men cure their natural weakness, and lay themselves under the necessity of observing the laws of justice and equity, notwithstanding their violent propension to prefer contiguous to remote. `Tis evident such a remedy can never be effectual without correcting this propensity; and as `tis impossible to change or correct any thing material in our nature, the utmost we can do is to change our circumstances and situation, and render the observance of the laws of justice our nearest interest, and their violation our most remote. But this being impracticable with respect to all mankind, it can only take place with respect to a few, whom we thus immediately interest in the execution of justice. There are the persons, whom we call civil magistrates, kings and their ministers, our governors and rulers, who being indifferent persons to the greatest part of the state, have no interest, or but a remote one, in any act of injustice; and being satisfied with their present condition, and with their part in society, have an immediate interest in every execution of justice, which is so necessary to the upholding of society. Here then is the origin of civil government and society. Men are not able radically to cure, either in themselves or others, that narrowness of soul, which makes them prefer the present to the remote. They cannot change their natures. All they can do is to change their situation, and render the observance of justice the immediate interest of some particular persons, and its violation their more remote. These persons, then, are not only induc'd to observe those rules in their own conduct, but also to constrain others to a like regularity, and inforce the dictates of equity thro' the whole society. And if it be necessary, they may also interest others more immediately in the execution of justice, and create a number of officers, civil and military, to assist them in their government."

Book I - Part IV - Section VII Conclusion of This Book (I) - Paragraphs 14-15 (last paragraph of Book I):


"I am sensible, that these two cases of the strength and weakness of the mind will not comprehend all mankind, and that there are in England, in particular, many honest gentlemen, who being always employ'd in their domestic affairs, or amusing themselves in common recreations, have carried their thoughts very little beyond those objects, which are every day expos'd to their senses. And indeed, of such as these I pretend not to make philosophers, nor do I expect them either to be associates in these researches or auditors of these discoveries. They do well to keep themselves in their present situation; and instead of refining them into philosophers, I wish we cou'd communicate to our founders of systems, a share of this gross earthy mixture, as an ingredient, which they commonly stand much in need of, and which wou'd serve to temper those fiery particles, of which they are compos'd. While a warm imagination is allow'd to enter into philosophy, and hypotheses embrac'd merely for being specious and agreeable, we can never have any steady principles, nor any sentiments, which will suit with common practice and experience. But were these hypotheses once remov'd, we might hope to establish a system or set of opinions, which if not true (for that, perhaps, is too much to be hop'd for) might at least be satisfactory to the human mind, and might stand the test of the most critical examination. Nor shou'd we despair of attaining this end, because of the many chimerical systems, which have successively arisen and decay'd away among men, wou'd we consider the shortness of that period, wherein these questions have been the subjects of enquiry and reasoning. Two thousand years with such long interruptions, and under such mighty discouragements are a small space of time to give any tolerable perfection to the sciences; and perhaps we are still in too early an age of the world to discover any principles, which will bear the examination of the latest posterity. For my part, my only hope is, that I may contribute a little to the advancement of knowledge, by giving in some particulars a different turn to the speculations of philosophers, and pointing out to them more distinctly those subjects, where alone they can expect assurance and conviction. Human Nature is the only science of man; and yet has been hitherto the most neglected. 'Twill be sufficient for me, if I can bring it a little more into fashion; and the hope of this serves to compose my temper from that spleen, and invigorate it from that indolence, which sometimes prevail upon me. If the reader finds himself in the same easy disposition, let him follow me in my future speculations. If not, let him follow his inclination, and wait the returns of application and good humour. The conduct of a man, who studies philosophy in this careless manner, is more truly sceptical than that of one, who feeling in himself an inclination to it, is yet so overwhelmed with doubts and scruples, as totally to reject it. A true sceptic will be diffident [~care] of his philosophical doubts, as well as of his philosophical conviction; and will never refuse any innocent satisfaction, which offers itself, upon account of either of them. [This is what Doug needed to read and fathom to put Hume back up there, where he belongs, among great proto~quantumists of Earth philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific history. He could n¤t have achieved this without his personal artistic aesthetics and con(m)cerns for highest possible quality of living for all Earth's sentients. Meliorism via both Art and quantons(scepticism,reason). Doug - 1Dec2007.]

"Nor is it only proper we shou'd in general indulge our inclination in the most elaborate philosophical researches, notwithstanding our sceptical principles, but also that we shou'd yield to that propensity, which inclines us to be positive and certain in particular points, according to the light, in which we survey them in any particular instant. 'Tis easier to forbear all examination and enquiry, than to check ourselves in so natural a propensity, and guard against that assurance, which always arises from an exact and full survey of an object. On such an occasion we are apt not only to forget our scepticism, but even our modesty too; and make use of such terms as these, 'tis evident, 'tis certain, 'tis undeniable; which a due deference to the public ought, perhaps, to prevent. I may have fallen into this fault after the example of others; but I here enter a caveat against any Objections, which may be offer'd on that head; and declare that such expressions were extorted from me by the present view of the object, and imply no dogmatical spirit, nor conceited idea of my own judgment, which are sentiments that I am sensible can become no body, and a sceptic still less than any other." [Perhaps with n¤t enough humility, Doug believes that quantum philosophy justifies now c. 2007 aversion of all dialectics. For Doug reasoning whose bases lie in dialectic, are evidently inferior quantum~reasonings whose bases lie in and ascendently emerge from Pirsig's MoQ. Doug - 1Dec2007.]

Granger says Hume, "...openly embraced a radical skepticism..."

These are last two paragraphs of issue one of our Humean-Grangerean Chautauqua. Let's see if we can summarize what Hume intends.

Hume argues for both~and and avers either-or.

Hume, to Doug, also argues for individual gnosis, quantum~gn¤sis, in paragraph 14. He didn't say so, but Doug infers using Pirsig's MoQ that dialectical society has n¤ dynamic 'social intellect,' and quantum~individual intellect is evolving relentlessly and thus superior social institutional viscosity in almost all regards excepting latching and foundational housing of as much individual entropy as possible. Latching does n¤t imply that 'state rules.' Dynamicity is superior 'state.'

His version of a "...true sceptic..." is, as Doug had surmised, n¤t radical scepticism as proffered by Granger. Rather is a both~and quanton(doubts,convictions). Hume is more quantum than classical, and for Doug that is profoundly important and news worthy, since Doug was about to toss Hume aside as just another dialectical nut case.

Thanks to Granger for eduction (n¤t education) of Doug's reapprisals of Hume! Very quantum indeed, and that justifies further Chautauqua and feuilleton issues of TQS News in 2008!

Thank you for reading,

Doug - 1Dec2007.

Hume's Whole AToHN Book I Introduction:

"My design in the present work is sufficiently explain'd in the Introduction. The reader must only observe, that all the subjects I have there plann'd out to myself, are not treated of in these two volumes. The subjects of the Understanding and Passions make a compleat chain of reasoning by themselves; and I was willing to take advantage of this natural division, in order to try the taste of the public. If I have the good fortune to meet with success, I shall proceed to the examination of Morals, Politics, and Criticism; which will compleat this Treatise of Human Nature. The approbation of the public I consider as the greatest reward of my labours; but am determin'd to regard its judgment, whatever it be, as my best instruction.


"Nothing is more usual and more natural for those, who pretend to discover anything new to the world in philosophy and the sciences, than to insinuate the praises of their own systems, by decrying all those, which have been advanced before them. And indeed were they content with lamenting that ignorance, which we still lie under in the most important questions, that can come before the tribunal of human reason, there are few, who have an acquaintance with the sciences, that would not readily agree with them. 'Tis easy for one of judgment and learning, to perceive the weak foundation even of those systems, which have obtained the greatest credit, and have carried their pretensions highest to accurate and profound reasoning. Principles taken upon trust, consequences lamely deduced from them, want of coherence in the parts, and of evidence in the whole, these are every where to be met with in the systems of the most eminent philosophers, and seem to have drawn disgrace upon philosophy itself.

"Nor is there requir'd such profound knowledge to discover the present imperfect condition of the sciences, but even the rabble without doors may, judge from the noise and clamour, which they hear, that all goes not well within. There is nothing which is not the subject of debate, and in which men of learning are not of contrary opinions. The most trivial question escapes not our controversy, and in the most momentous we are not able to give any certain decision. Disputes are multiplied, as if every thing was uncertain; and these disputes are managed with the greatest warmth, as if every thing was certain. Amidst all this bustle 'tis not reason, which carries the prize, but eloquence; and no man needs ever despair of gaining proselytes to the most extravagant hypothesis, who has art enough to represent it in any favourable colours. The victory is not gained by the men at arms, who manage the pike and the sword; but by the trumpeters, drummers, and musicians of the army.

"From hence in my opinion arises that common prejudice against metaphysical reasonings of all kinds, even amongst those, who profess themselves scholars, and have a just value for every other part of literature. By metaphysical reasonings, they do not understand those on any particular branch of science, but every kind of argument, which is any way abstruse, and requires some attention to be comprehended. We have so often lost our labour in such researches, that we commonly reject them without hesitation, and resolve, if we must for ever be a prey to errors and delusions, that they shall at least be natural and entertaining. And indeed nothing but the most determined scepticism, along with a great degree of indolence, can justify this aversion to metaphysics. For if truth be at all within the reach of human capacity, 'tis certain it must lie very deep and abstruse: and to hope we shall arrive at it without pains, while the greatest geniuses have failed with the utmost pains, must certainly be esteemed sufficiently vain and presumptuous. I pretend to no such advantage in the philosophy I am going to unfold, and would esteem it a strong presumption against it, were it so very easy and obvious.

"'Tis evident, that all the sciences have a relation, greater or less, to human nature: and that however wide any of them may seem to run from it, they still return back by one passage or another. Even Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion, are in some measure dependent on the science of MAN; since they lie under the cognizance of men, and are judged of by their powers and faculties. 'Tis impossible to tell what changes and improvements we might make in these sciences were we thoroughly acquainted with the extent and force of human understanding, and cou'd explain the nature of the ideas we employ, and of the operations we perform in our reasonings. And these improvements are the more to be hoped for in natural religion, as it is not content with instructing us in the nature of superior powers, but carries its views farther, to their disposition towards us, and our duties towards them; and consequently we ourselves are not only the beings, that reason, but also one of the objects, concerning which we reason.

"If therefore the sciences of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion, have such a dependence on the knowledge of man, what may be expected in the other sciences, whose connexion with human nature is more close and intimate? The sole end of logic is to explain the principles and operations of our reasoning faculty, and the nature of our ideas: morals and criticism regard our tastes and sentiments: and politics consider men as united in society, and dependent on each other. In these four sciences of Logic, Morals, Criticism, and Politics, is comprehended almost everything, which it can any way import us to be acquainted with, or which can tend either to the improvement or ornament of the human mind.

"Here then is the only expedient, from which we can hope for success in our philosophical researches, to leave the tedious lingering method, which we have hitherto followed, and instead of taking now and then a castle or village on the frontier, to march up directly to the capital or center of these sciences, to human nature itself; which being once masters of, we may every where else hope for an easy victory. From this station we may extend our conquests over all those sciences, which more intimately concern human life, and may afterwards proceed at leisure to discover more fully those, which are the objects of pore curiosity. There is no question of importance, whose decision is not compriz'd in the science of man; and there is none, which can be decided with any certainty, before we become acquainted with that science. In pretending, therefore, to explain the principles of human nature, we in effect propose a compleat system of the sciences, built on a foundation almost entirely new, and the only one upon which they can stand with any security.

"And as the science of man is the-only solid foundation for the other sciences, so the only solid foundation we can (live to this science itself must be laid on experience and observation. 'Tis no astonishing reflection to consider, that the application of experimental philosophy to moral subjects should come after that to natural at the distance of above a whole century; since we find in fact, that there was about the same interval betwixt the origins of these sciences; and that reckoning from THALES to SOCRATES, the space of time is nearly equal to that betwixt, my Lord Bacon and some late philosophers in England, who have begun to put the science of man on a new footing, and have engaged the attention, and excited the curiosity of the public. So true it is, that however other nations may rival us in poetry, and excel us in some other agreeable arts, the improvements in reason and philosophy can only be owing to a land of toleration and of liberty.

"Nor ought we to think, that this latter improvement in the science of man will do less honour to our native country than the former in natural philosophy, but ought rather to esteem it a greater glory, upon account of the greater importance of that science, as well as the necessity it lay under of such a reformation. For to me it seems evident, that the essence of the mind being equally unknown to us with that of external bodies, it must be equally impossible to form any notion of its powers and qualities otherwise than from careful and exact experiments, and the observation of those particular effects, which result from its different circumstances and situations. And tho' we must endeavour to render all our principles as universal as possible, by tracing up our experiments to the utmost, and explaining all effects from the simplest and fewest causes, 'tis still certain we cannot go beyond experience; and any hypothesis, that pretends to discover the ultimate original qualities of human nature, ought at first to be rejected as presumptuous and chimerical.

"I do not think a philosopher, who would apply himself so earnestly to the explaining the ultimate principles of the soul, would show himself a great master in that very science of human nature, which he pretends to explain, or very knowing 'm what is naturally satisfactory to the mind of man. For nothing is more certain, than that despair has almost the same effect upon us with enjoyment, and that we are no sooner acquainted with the impossibility of satisfying any desire, than the desire itself vanishes. When we see, that we have arrived at the utmost extent of human reason, we sit down contented, tho' we be perfectly satisfied in the main of our ignorance, and perceive that we can give no reason for our most general and most refined principles, beside our experience of their reality; which is the reason of the mere vulgar, and what it required no study at first to have discovered for the most particular and most extraordinary phaenomenon. And as this impossibility of making any farther progress is enough to satisfy the reader, so the writer may derive a more delicate satisfaction from the free confession of his ignorance, and from his prudence in avoiding that error, into which so many have fallen, of imposing their conjectures and hypotheses on the world for the most certain principles. When this mutual contentment and satisfaction can be obtained betwixt the master and scholar, I know not what more we can require of our philosophy.

"But if this impossibility of explaining ultimate principles should be esteemed a defect in the science of man, I will venture to affirm, that 'tis a defect common to it with all the sciences, and all the arts, in which we can employ ourselves, whether they be such as are cultivated in the schools of the philosophers, or practised in the shops of the meanest artizans. None of them can go beyond experience, or establish any principles which are not founded on that authority. Moral philosophy has, indeed, this peculiar disadvantage, which is not found in natural, that in collecting its experiments, it cannot make them purposely, with premeditation, and after such a manner as to satisfy itself concerning every particular difficulty which may be. When I am at a loss to know the effects of one body upon another in any situation, I need only put them in that situation, and observe what results from it. But should I endeavour to clear up after the same manner any doubt in moral philosophy, by placing myself in the same case with that which I consider, 'tis evident this reflection and premeditation would so disturb the operation of my natural principles, as must render it impossible to form any just conclusion from the phenomenon. We must therefore glean up our experiments in this science from a cautious observation of human life, and take them as they appear in the common course of the world, by men's behaviour in company, in affairs, and in their pleasures. Where experiments of this kind are judiciously collected and compared, we may hope to establish on them a science which will not be inferior in certainty, and will be much superior in utility to any other of human comprehension."

©Quantonics, Inc., and Doug Renselle 2007-2010

Thank you for reading,

Doug - 1Dec2007.


See you here again in early January, 2008!



To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2007-2010 — Rev. 17Nov2008  PDR — Created 21Nov2007  PDR
(2Dec2007 rev - Add some text. Correct some italics. Extend our long list. Add some needed links.)
(5,8Dec2007 rev - Add Feuilleton 2007-2008 link table. Add a 'Quantum Partiality Description Summary' anchor. Update and repair 'Radical in Book III.')
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