David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Hume’s view of reason is notoriously hard to pin down, not least because of the apparently contradictory positions which he appears to adopt in different places. The problem is perhaps most clear in his writings concerning induction - in his famous argument of Treatise I iii 6 and Enquiry IV, on the one hand, he seems to conclude that “probable inference” has no rational basis, while elsewhere, for example in much of his writing on natural theology, he seems happy to acknowledge that such inference is not only reasonable, but is even a paradigm of reasoning against which the theistic arguments must be judged. In the face of this apparent contradiction, many recent commentators have proferred “non-sceptical” interpretations of Hume’s argument concerning induction, but in this paper I sketch an alternative and perhaps less radical method of resolving the problem, by identifying a major threefold ambiguity in Hume’s use of the word “reason”. On this interpretation, Hume indeed sees induction as a paradigm of reasonableness in what is arguably the most important sense, but he nevertheless believes induction to be entirely non-reasonable in another sense, which though less important in common life is nevertheless very significant philosophically. A comparison with Locke can help to illuminate Hume’s position, which though indeed not entirely sceptical about induction, is by no means entirely non-sceptical either.
|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
Peter Lipton (2005). Waiting for Hume. In Marina Frasca-Spada & P. J. E. Kail (eds.), Impressions of Hume. Oxford University Press. 59.
Stefanie Rocknak (2011). Hume's Negative Argument Concerning Induction. In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
Louis E. Loeb (2006). Psychology, Epistemology, and Skepticism in Hume's Argument About Induction. Synthese 152 (3):321 - 338.
Samir Okasha (2005). Does Hume's Argument Against Induction Rest on a Quantifier-Shift Fallacy? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (2):253–271.
Ruth Weintraub (2008). A Problem for Hume's Theory of Induction. Hume Studies 34 (2):169-187.
Kazuyoshi Kamiyama (2008). No Need to Justify Induction Generally. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 53:105-111.
Fred Wilson (1984). Is Hume a Sceptic with Regard to Reason? Philosophy Research Archives 10:275-319.
Jani Hakkarainen (2012). Why Hume Cannot Be A Realist. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):143-161.
Wayne Waxman (1994). Hume's Theory of Consciousness. Cambridge University Press.
Daniel Steel, What If the Principle of Induction is Normative? Means-Ends Epistemology and Hume's Problem.
Chen Bo (2012). Justification of Induction: Russell and Jin Yuelin. A Comparative Study. History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (4):353-378.
Michael Rowan (1993). Stove on the Rationality of Induction and the Uniformity Thesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):561-566.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads42 ( #57,365 of 1,696,616 )
Recent downloads (6 months)11 ( #52,986 of 1,696,616 )
How can I increase my downloads?