Humean Humility

Abstract
This paper sets up and then solves a puzzle for the sceptical realist interpretation of Hume. The puzzle takes off when the sceptical realist attributes to Hume the following metaphysical theses: (NH1) Causal powers grounding necessary connections in nature exist. (NH2) Causal powers grounding necessary connections in nature are what make things happen. It then attributes an epistemological thesis to him: (NH3) We have no knowledge of causal powers in nature nor of the necessary connections in nature which these powers ground. But putting these three theses together seems to yield a problematic result. The epistemological thesis seems to have two corollaries as its upshot. (C1) We cannot know that causal powers grounding necessary connections in nature exist. (C2) We cannot know that causal powers grounding necessary connections in nature are what make things happen. That is, we cannot know (NH1) and (NH2). New Hume’s position, the sceptical realist interpretation, seems to make Hume out to be arguing for a view that is self-undermining or dialectically unstable by his own empiricist lights. I argue that there is an overlooked externalist dimension to Hume’s epistemology and draw on this to solve the puzzle.
Keywords david hume  humility  causal powers  necessary connections  sceptical realism  New Hume  epistemological externalism  skeptical realism  justification  helen beebee
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,141
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Toby Handfield (2008). Humean Dispositionalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):113-126.
Jani Hakkarainen (2012). Why Hume Cannot Be A Realist. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):143-161.
Justin Broackes (1993). Did Hume Hold a Regularity Theory of Causation? British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1 (1):99 – 114.
Jani Hakkarainen (2012). Hume's Scepticism and Realism. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):283-309.
Louis deRosset (2009). Production and Necessity. Philosophical Review 118 (2):153-181.
John P. Wright (2012). Scepticism, Causal Science and 'The Old Hume'. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):123-142.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-10-26

Total downloads

16 ( #92,495 of 1,095,493 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #55,699 of 1,095,493 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.