A Study Guide for Students in Bill Gay's Modern Philosophy Class on

Hume's Distinction between Relations of Ideas and Matters of Fact


 
 

Relations of Ideas                                         Matters of Fact
 
Prob. of Relation of Ideas = 1 or 0

(1 = necessary; 0 = impossible)

Prob. of Matter of Fact = > 0 & < 1

(> 0 and < 1 = possible)

certain: determinate truth-value

tautology or contradiction

probable: indeterminate truth-value

contingency

formal (relational):

empty (not about the world)

material (empirical):

content (about the world)

analytic: a priori

no observation needed

synthetic: a posteriori

observation needed

independent of experience:

not determined by sense data

dependent on experience:

determined by sense data

definition:

arbitrary convention

evidence:

given nature

predicate (conclusion) contained in subject (premises) predicate (conclusion) outside of subject (premises)
validity and deduction:

contrary never possible

invalidity and induction:

contrary always possible