David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Hume Studies 31 (2):225-247 (2005)
Hume claims to prove in Treatise 22.214.171.124 that the causal maxim is neither intuitively nor demonstratively certain. The aim of this paper is to elucidate some puzzling features of his argument and thereby show that objections raised by James Beattie, Barry Stroud, and Harold Noonan can be answered. The conclusion is that Hume’s argument goes through given convictions Hume expects his readers to share long before they reach this point of the Treatise. These convictions are that all ideas are imagistic entities, that all images must be fully determinate, and that there is no empirical evidence against the claim that nothing we can conceive or imagine in detail implies a contradiction.
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