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cement of the universe

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics, philosophy of mind Hume 's term for what he took to be the most basic principles of the association of ideas , that is, resemblance, contiguity in time or in place, and causation. These are the links that connect us with any person or object exterior to ourselves. For Hume, the human mind operates according to these principles to construct various complex ideas and consequently to build up our picture of the universe. These principles are themselves associated, and the presence of one will introduce the other two to the mind. The contemporary philosopher John Mackie took “The Cement of the Universe” to be the title for his influential book about causation (1974). “As it is by means of thought only that any thing operates upon our passions, and as these are the only ties of our thoughts, they [the principles of association] are really to us the cement of the universe, and all the operations of the mind must, in a great measure, depend on them.” Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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