David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
I advance what might be thought a paradoxical thesis: that the central topic of Hume’s long discussions “Of the Idea of Necessary Connexion” is not, in fact, the idea of necessary connexion. However it is not as paradoxical as it first appears, for I shall claim that the “idea” whose origin Hume seeks is, in a sense, an idea-type of which the specific idea of necessary connexion is but one instance. Various lines of evidence support this claim, but my main argument will rest on its ability to solve four puzzles in Hume’s text, which are otherwise hard to explain away. These are: (S) the synonymy puzzle, posed by Hume’s apparently reckless assertion that “efficacy”, “agency”, “power”, “force”, “energy”, “necessity”, “connexion”, and “productive quality” are all virtual synonyms; (C) the complexity puzzle, that Hume seems to ignore the possibility that his target idea might be complex rather than simple; (V) the vulgar problem, which arises from Hume’s acknowledgement that the vulgar believe in “chancy” causes, even though he takes the very concept of causation to involve necessity; and (P) the probability problem, of how an allegedly simply idea whose central core involves inexorable necessity could possibly provide a basis for probability. The paper ends by drawing further support from an analysis of Hume’s two sections “Of the idea of necessary connexion”, showing that his use of the various relevant terms makes good sense on the thesis proposed, thus corroborating the arguments presented.
|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
R. B. Braithwaite (1928). "The Idea of Necessary Connexion" (II). Mind 37 (145):62-72.
Oswald Hanfling (1979). Hume's Idea of Necessary Connexion. Philosophy 54 (210):501 - 514.
Åsa Carlson (2009). There Is Just One Idea of Self in Hume's Treatise. Hume Studies 35 (1-2):171-184.
Ruth Weintraub (2005). A Humean Conundrum. Hume Studies 31 (2):211-224.
Graciela De Pierris (2002). Causation as a Philosophical Relation in Hume. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):499 - 545.
Donald L. M. Baxter (2000). A Humean Temporal Logic. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000 (Analytic Philosophy and Logic):209-216.
Marina Frasca-Spada (1998). Space and the Self in Hume's Treatise. Cambridge University Press.
R. B. Braithwaite (1927). "The Idea of Necessary Connexion" (I). Mind 36 (144):467-477.
Robert J. Fogelin (2009). Hume's Skeptical Crisis: A Textual Study. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-02-21
Total downloads58 ( #30,178 of 1,140,057 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #48,755 of 1,140,057 )
How can I increase my downloads?