David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Studies 82 (3):359 - 375 (1996)
Hume’s famous argument against the credibility of testimony about miracles invokes two premises: 1) The reliability of the witness (the extent to which he is informed and truthful) must be compared with the intrinsic probability of the miracle. 2) The initial probability of a miracle is always small enough to outweigh the improbability that the testimony is false (even when the witness is assumed to be reliable). I defend the first premise of the argument, showing that Hume’s argument can be applied to purported observations of miracles, as well. I then show that Hume failed to provide an adequate support for his second premise. A more cogent defence can be provided for a weaker premise. The resultant argument has, consequently, a less sweeping conclusion than Hume’s
|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
Wesley Salmon (1984). Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Princeton University Press.
L. Jonathan Cohen (1981). Can Human Irrationality Be Experimentally Demonstrated? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (3):317-370.
William P. Alston (1993). The Reliability of Sense Perception. Cornell University Press.
L. Jonathan Cohen (1986). The Dialogue of Reason. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Aviezer Tucker (2005). Miracles, Historical Testimonies, and Probabilities. History and Theory 44 (3):373–390.
Similar books and articles
Jacqueline Mariña (1998). The Theological and Philosophical Significance of the Markan Account of Miracles. Faith and Philosophy 15 (3):298-323.
T. Brian Mooney & Anthony Imbrosciano (2005). The Curious Case of Mr. Locke's Miracles. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 57 (3):147 - 168.
Michael Levine (1997). Bayesian Analyses of Hume's Argument Concerning Miracles. Philosophy and Theology 10 (1):101-106.
Robert Young (1980). Miracles and Credibility. Religious Studies 16 (4):465 - 468.
C. D. Broad (1916). Hume's Theory of the Credibility of Miracles. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 17:77 - 94.
Michael Almeida (2007). Martin on Miracles. Philo 10 (1):27-34.
Richard Otte (2004). Review of Fogelin, A Defense of Hume on Miracles. [REVIEW] Hume Studies 30 (1):165-68.
Travis Dumsday (2008). Locke on Competing Miracles. Faith and Philosophy 25 (4):416-424.
John Earman (2000). Hume's Abject Failure: The Argument Against Miracles. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #134,721 of 1,724,782 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #167,179 of 1,724,782 )
How can I increase my downloads?