Writing on the justification of certain inductive inferences, the author proposes that sometimes induction is justified and that arguments to prove otherwise are not cogent. In the first part he examines the problem of justifying induction, looks at some attempts to prove that it is justified, and responds to criticisms of these proofs. In the second part he deals with such topics as formal logic, deductive logic, the theory of logical probability, and probability and truth.
In part ix of "dialogues concerning natural religion", Demea advances an "a priori" argument for the existence of god: an argument of which cleanthes and philo then make a number of trenchant criticisms. These criticisms are acknowledged by all commentators to be hume's own, And they are regarded by almost all commentators as being fatal to demea's argument. I show that, On the contrary, Hume's main criticisms are all worthless, And that they even include an inconsistency of the most glaring (...) kind. (shrink)
The author claims to prove by example that, Contrary to what is generally maintained, A singular preposition of an observational kind is in some cases deducible from a natural law alone. On this basis he raises the question whether the universe might not be deterministic in a 'hyper-Laplacean' sense: that is, Whether the laws of nature might not be logically sufficient on their own to determine every actual state of the universe.
This book aims to discuss probability and David Hume's inductive scepticism. For the sceptical view which he took of inductive inference, Hume only ever gave one argument. That argument is the sole subject-matter of this book. The book is divided into three parts. Part one presents some remarks on probability. Part two identifies Hume's argument for inductive scepticism. Finally, the third part evaluates Hume's argument for inductive scepticism.