David Hume who is a philosopher believes that nature has a noble role in aiding people to gain some things, which cannot be gained through reason. He does this by deploying empirical philosophical approaches that are enshrined within the scientific methodological rigor in his philosophical approach of reasoning. He argues, “anything we can say about the world is a matter of fact, thus can be justified only through experience, and can be denied without contradiction” (Hume, 1985, p.205). This way, education should enable people to develop the capacity to relate ideas to gain fundamental truths. However, this cannot enable people to learn about the existence of both God and the world. Teaching students fundamental principles that are regarded as facts implies that teachers presume that experiences are similar to the future-expected experiences. This assertion makes Hume wonder, “Experiences can teach anything about the future” (Hume, 1985, p.323). Based on Hume’s argument, educationists need to teach curricula that enable students to reason according to the cause-and-effect methodological approach of seeking solutions to the problems that are encountered in real-life experiences.
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Hume suggests that people believe in some things simply because of nature as opposed to reason. People adopt certain habits that they believe in because they have a certain deep-seated belief that they are safe in behaving in certain ways. In the context of education, it implies that education serves the purpose of justifying certain codes of ethics that are peculiar to persons of a certain education level and standard. From Hume’s philosophical perspective, it sounds inappropriate for teachers to focus on experimentation and observations while teaching since principles and laws that students would require to prove has already been proven for validity before. Hence, students need only to believe in the past results of the experiments that yield certain physical laws. The challenge to this line of thought is that students may emerge as poor new problem-solvers since new problems are approached from the context of experiences.
Hume, D. (1985). Hume Selections. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.