Hume and the Problem of Miracles: A Solution

Kluwer (1989)
Abstract
HUME’S ARGUMENT AGAINST JUSTIFIED BELIEF IN MIRACLES CANNOT BE PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD APART FROM HIS ANALYSIS OF CAUSATION. IT IS ARGUED THAT HUME’S POSITION HAS NEVER BEEN CORRECTLY INTERPRETED BECAUSE ITS CONNECTION WITH HIS MORE GENERAL METAPHYSICS HAS NEVER BEEN ADEQUATELY EXAMINED. TO UNDERSTAND HUME’S VIEW ON MIRACLES THE FOLLOWING QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED: WHY DID HUME THINK THAT ONE COULD JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE THAT AN "EXTRAORDINARY" EVENT HAD OCCURRED, BUT THAT ONE COULD "NEVER" JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE A "MIRACLE" HAD OCCURRED? THIS BOOK OFFERS A SUSTAINED TREATMENT OF THAT QUESTION. IT IS ALSO ARGUED THAT IT MAKES NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE WHETHER HUME’S CENTRAL ARGUMENT IS INTERPRETED AS AN "A PRIORI" OR AN "A POSTERIORI" ARGUMENT; AND THAT HIS ARGUMENT IS APPLICABLE BOTH TO BELIEF BASED ON TESTIMONY AND DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF A MIRACLE. IN PART II THE CENTRAL QUESTION ADDRESSED IS WHETHER OR NOT ANYONE CAN JUSTIFIABLY BELIEVE A MIRACLE TO HAVE OCCURRED GIVEN A CONTEMPORARY EPISTEMOL
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ISBN(s) 0792300432   9780792300434
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