David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Southwest Philosophy Review 11 (1):111-118 (1995)
I vindicate Hume’s argument against belief in miracle reports against a prevalent objection. Hume has us balance the probability of a miracle’s occurrence against the probability of its being falsely attested to, and argues that the latter must inevitably be the greater; thus, reason requires us to reject any miracle report. The "flaw" in this reasoning, according to Butler and many others, is that it proves too much--it counsels us to never believe historians, newspaper reports of lottery results, and so on; and this is clearly absurd. I show that this objection is misguided: far from providing counterexamples to Hume’s "balancing principle", as I call it, these cases actually confirm it, as some simple calculations of probabilities show
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Alan Hájek (2008). Are Miracles Chimerical? In Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, Volume 1. Oxford Univ Pr. 82-104.
Chris Slupik (1995). A New Interpretation of Hume's 'Of Miracles'. Religious Studies 31 (4):517 - 536.
James E. Taylor (2007). Hume on Miracles: Interpretation and Criticism. Philosophy Compass 2 (4):611–624.
Francis J. Beckwith (1991). Hume's Evidential/Testimonial Epistemology, Probability, and Miracles. Logos 12:87 - 104.
Ruth Weintraub (1996). The Credibility of Miracles. Philosophical Studies 82 (3):359 - 375.
Matthew C. Bagger (1997). Hume and Miracles. Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (2):237 - 251.
Robert J. Fogelin (2003). A Defense of Hume on Miracles. Princeton Univ Pr.
Richard Otte (1996). Mackie's Treatment of Miracles. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 39 (3):151 - 158.
Hendrik Van der Breggen (2002). Hume's Scale: How Hume Counts a Miracle's Improbability Twice. Philosophia Christi 4 (2):443 - 453.
Dorothy P. Coleman (1988). Hume, Miracles and Lotteries. Hume Studies 14 (2):328-346.
Michael Levine (1997). Bayesian Analyses of Hume's Argument Concerning Miracles. Philosophy and Theology 10 (1):101-106.
William L. Vanderburgh (2005). Of Miracles and Evidential Probability. Hume Studies 31 (1):37-61.
John M. DePoe (2008). Vindicating a Bayesian Approach to Confirming Miracles: A Response to Jordan Howard Sobel's Reading of Hume. Philosophia Christi 10 (1):229 - 238.
Bruce Langtry (1990). Hume, Probability, Lotteries and Miracles. Hume Studies 16 (1):67-74.
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads24 ( #104,794 of 1,696,586 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #115,608 of 1,696,586 )
How can I increase my downloads?