Hume's Evidential/Testimonial Epistemology, Probability, and Miracles
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Logos 12:87 - 104 (1991)
In this paper I will critically analyze the first part of David Hume’s argument against miracles, which has been traditionally referred to as the in-principle argument. However, unlike most critiques of Hume’s argument, I will (1) present a view of evidential epistemology and probability that will take into consideration Hume’s accurate observation that miracles are highly improbable events while(2) arguing that one can be within one’s epistemic rights in believing that a miracle has occurred. As for the proper definition of a miracle, I offer the following, which I believe most religious people generally mean when they call an event miraculous: "A miracle is a divine intervention that occurs contrary to the regular course of nature within a significant historical-religious context". Although I am fully aware that this definition has its detractors, it will merely function in this paper as a working definition so that we can come to grips with Hume’s argument. This definition has been
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