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definitions of a posteriori and a priori knowledge

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

     We will be taking a closer look at how to properly cite our philosophers with this discussion post as we learn how to make author-date in-text citations and a corresponding bibliographic entry.

David Hume is shifting our focus away from a knowledge-based on reason and instead championing the senses. He provides some vocabulary in the early parts of his enquiry. We will be attempting to choose quotes that help establish the meaning and significance of four of his concepts.

Here is some guidance to get us all on the same page (pun intended).

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For in-text citations we will use this recipe:“These are some example words as might be quoted by a student of philosophy” (Author’s Last Name Most Recent Copyright Date of the actual Text you are referencing, page number again from the actual text you are referencing). i.e. “But enough. It is now time to leave—for me to die, and for you to live–though which of us has the better destiny is unclear to everyone, save only to God” (Plato 2011, 50).  This is a reference to our class’s textbook so notice it is that copyright date and that page. Think of these citations as breadcrumbs that can lead your reader to the exact quote in the exact book so they can read more if they so choose.

For the bibliographic reference of our textbook:

Our textbook is an edited collection with various authored chapters:

When citing work by a single author that appears in a book with multiple authors, the contributing author’s name is cited first, followed by the title of their contribution, the word ‘in’ and the title of the book, along with the name(s) of the editors, the page range of the author’s contribution, and other standard information.

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Harris, Muriel. “Talk to Me: Engaging Reluctant Writers.” In A Tutor’s Guide: Helping Writers One to One, edited by Ben Rafoth, 24-34. New Hampshire: Heinemann, 2000.

For this assignment then, your bibliographic entry will begin with David Hume’s name (last name first) followed by the title An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Keep in mind that, since we are providing this reference for the whole of Hume’s Enquiry, that should be the page range and thusly, this one bibliographic entry covers all four quotes.


For each of the below terms you will provide a direct quote from our textbook which helps to define them and clarify their meaning as Hume would have us use them.

  1. Impression
  2. Idea
  3. Matters of fact
  4. Relations of ideas

Required: You must include the following 

  1. Provide a total of four direct quotes from David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding in proper format as discussed above.
  2. Provide one bibliographic entry (again in proper format as discussed above) since the bibliographic entry for Hume will cover all four citations..


Please post your original response by 7-26 so all replies can be posted by 7-27.


A positive and affirming reply to our classmates is always nice to see but we should also be aiming to push the conversation forward in ways that help us see new angles and insights. Both your original response and subsequent reply to a classmate will of course also continue to be graded on your ability to maintain the proper grammar and spelling befitting a professional, academic setting.

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