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According to Hume, there are two forms of inquiry; they are matter of fact and relations of ideas. All enquiry objects can naturally be categorized into matters of fact and relations of ideas. The propositions are usually discovered solely through the application of thought.
This is never dependent on things that can be found in the universe. Irrespective of the fact that, in nature, triangles and circles were not in existence, Euclid came up with truths that maintain the evidence and certainty of their existence. This paper aims at analyzing the matter of fact and relations of ideas.
Matter of fact
Matters of fact are the 2nd enquiry objects. Irrespective of how much evidence of their existence there is, their assertion is totally different. There is always the possibility of the opposite of each matter of fact because it does not indicate a contradiction. Moreover, it is contained in mind with a similar uniqueness and facility.
This is accomplished in a manner that agrees totally to reality (Hume, 1902). For instance, saying that the sun will not rise from the east tomorrow, is not an intelligent proposition. It introduces more contradiction than the already present evidence, that is, that the sun will rise. Hence, trying to show the falsehood of this statement would be in vain. In case it is shown to be false, this would bring about a contradiction, and the mind would not conceive this distinctly.
Relations of ideas
In philosophy, the term relation refers to a form of the fact that is either agreeable or disagreeable of the two items. For instance, the aspect of ‘taller than’ is agreeable in relation to Ross Perot. On the other hand, it is false as far as Mt. Everest is concerned. In this relation, it is worth noting that items and substances possess properties.
For instance, this patch is blue; it is worth noting that relations involve two substances or properties. For instance, this patch is smaller compared to another one. Relations of ideas refer to the form of knowledge that is considered as having arisen from pure reasonable procedures and theoretical opinions (Hume, 1902). This is a complete contrast of matter of fact. For example, in logic it can be argued that water surrounds all islands. In mathematics, 40 * 2 is 80.
Difference between matter of fact and relations of ideas
Relations of ideas refer to a logical or mathematical proposition. Irrespective of the fact that it has rational certainty, it informs nothing in regards to reality. On the other hand, matters of fact refer to an empirically verifiable proposition. Although it informs about the real world, there is no rational certainty.
For instance, according to the relation of ideas, a triangle refers to a geometrical figure with three sides. The total sum of all the angles is one hundred and eighty degrees. There is one hundred percent certainty that this is what the triangle is. However, there is no confirmation whether triangles exist in reality or not (Hume, 1902).
In the matter of fact, it can be argued that the Sun always rises in the east. Therefore, all people globally accept this to be the case according to the overall experience. According to Hume, this is referred to as custom. However, it is not clear whether the Sun will rise from another direction the following day.
Hume, D. (1902). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. London: Oxford University Press.