Hume developed a theory of determinism in which he posited that every cause will inevitably lead to a particular effect because of the laws on nature in existence. He argued that sensory experiences that humans have and available empirical evidence contribute to this belief. The inability to establish actual proof of the laws of nature in operation necessitates the assumption that such laws actually exist.

Humes determinism sought to explain the way nature operates and why certain causes lead to certain effects (Hume, 1995). Using the example of a ball, if bounced on the ground, it will bounce back up. To Hume, the effect of bouncing back up was evidence that a natural law was in operation. Repeating the exercise and observing the same effect every time would produce the empirical evidence necessary to validate such a law. Because of the difficulty of identifying the law and providing tangible proof, Hume argues that scientific exploration must assume certain factors to be theoretically relevant.
However, whenever you bounce a ball, the angle at which it hits the ground and the angle at which it bounces back up differ every time. In essence, it is difficult to replicate any event with 100 accuracy yet, Hume postulates that a law of nature is in operation every time. This presents a major flaw in his theory and suggests that what he calls laws of nature are actually logically conclusions or circular reasoning.

A critical analysis of Humes determinism would imply that the causal effect he attributes to laws of nature of laws is determined by chance rather than on invisible laws. This will explain why similar causes produce similar results despite significant differences in the actual circumstances.

In conclusion, Humes theory of determinism is useful in establishing a starting point for scientific study but cannot explain the indeterminate nature of things. Nature appears to operate with a degree of uncertainty and in only those cases where similar results are achieved can an assumption of some level of determinate behavior be explained.


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