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Explain HUmes Distinction Between Truths Of MOF And Those Of ROI Essay, Research Paper




Hume separates his distinction of truths of into two categories. They are Relation of Ideas (ROF) and Matter of Fact (MOF). Hume states Relation of Ideas are always true based on how all its component parts relate. However, Matter of Fact can and cannot be true depending on circumstance. If its components do not relate it can not be truth. For example of ROF, all bachelors are unmarried. This is truth based on that a bachelor is an unmarried man. An example of MOF is that all bachelors are lonely. This can not be true because even though a bachelor is unmarried it does not necessarily mean he is lonely. The component parts of ROF relate when the components of MOF do not.

Hume distinguishes amongst the two categories by two determinings of truths. Analytic Propositions and Synthetic determines truths of ROF and MOF. Analytic Propositions of ROF is the idea that its truths depends on how each idea is analyzed and built up to make it truth. ROF is necessary truth, which is called contrary impossible. It has got to be true. As for MOF, Synthetic means the ability for MOF truths to be demonstrative certain and intuitively certain. Demonstrative certain is when one can not tell if it is certain by looking at it. Intuitively certain is when one can look at it and know it is certain. MOF can be contingent, which is the capability of being false.


Also known as contrary possible.

Hume also states that truths of ROF are found by a priori knowledge.

Its truth is discovered by operation of thought. Knowledge of experience is not needed. As long as one can understand the ideas, they do not need any experience to tell if it is truth. On the contrary, truths of MOF depends on experience; a posteriori knowledge. Based on what exists it may or may not be true. Hume strongly believes in truths of MOF that all ideas arise from experience. Experience of cause and effect determines whether something is true of MOF. Even after experience of cause and effect, a conclusion from that experience is not found by thinking it out nor by any method of understanding. So, therefore that experience determines whether it can be true or false.

However, truths of ROF are inconceivably contrary. It is never perceived as either/or nor ?as a result of?, but as a relation of ideas that are always true. Truths of MOF are contrary conceivable. They can be understood as true or false by experience. It is not a matter of thinking it out and relating the idea why one infers one from the other (truth from falsity), but by experience.

To conclude, Hume distinguishes truths of Relation of Ideas and Matter of Fact by Sub categorizing the two into Analytical Propositions and Synthetic. He later distinguishes truth that depends on ROI and MOF by factors of certain/not certain, a priori/posteriori knowledge, contrary impossible/contrary possible, and

inconceivably contrary/contrary conceivable.

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