Today we wrapped up our consideration of David Hume. We saw that, like Berkeley, Hume thinks of himself as removing a key belief from the empiricist worldview, and then adjusting to the results. Just as Berkeley removed belief in matter, Hume removes belief in necessary connections. Hume thinks we are left with an ability to understand social life and to do experiments (to consider matters of fact), and to do mathematics (to consider relations of ideas). However, we are missing the key knowledge needed for metaphysics.
From the metaphysical point of view, all we are aware of is streams of what Locke would call simple ideas. We identify some of these ideas as ourselves, and others as bodies or other objects. Since we don't understand why the ideas fit together as they do, we're bundling them together in a way that is conventional and customary, but fundamentally arbitrary. Are there bodies? Hume thinks Berkeley's arguments show that we cannot be sure. Are there minds? Hume is not sure either.