An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
A Treatise of Human Nature by David Hume
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In this essay I will try to attend to the scenario of my professor talking to me while I text my friend. I will try to explain both Locke and Hume’s theory of mind and the question of whether or not an external world exists and I will favor Hume’s theory in my explanation. Is there an external world separate from my mind? Or is there only an external world, and my feeble attempt to grasp it? Or, are there only sense impressions and the external world is a fiction? Locke is more the former view, and Hume is the latter. I choose Hume because even though he is more skeptical in his view of reality, I think his theory is the strongest argument.
We first have to explain the problem. My professor standing before me while I text is an external object and qualities about my professor, for example, the color of his jacket, are not innate in my mind, according to Locke (or Hume). Innate is a technical terms that means to exist in the mind before I have experienced it. By experience we mean the outside world. How, then, does the mind, interact with the world? For Locke. I can only know external objects that are imprinted on my mind through me perceiving it, “For to imprint any thing on the mind without the mind’s perceiving it seems to me hardly intelligible” (p. 8)....