About this topic
Summary

Hume approaches topics in metaphysics and epistemology via his theory of ideas and the cognitive faculties. In metaphysics, his primary interest is in questions not of the form ‘What is X?’ but of the form ‘What can we conceive X to be?’ His best-known contribution is his argument that causation, as far as we can conceive it, is just regular succession among objects or events, plus our habit of inferring one object or event from another. He also made important contributions concerning space and time, existence, identity, substances, and free will. In epistemology, his primary interest is in questions of the form ‘Which of our cognitive faculties is responsible for our belief in X?’ His best-known contribution is his argument that habit, not reason, engages us to suppose that unobserved events will resemble observed ones (a view concerning what philosophers now call induction). He also made important contributions concerning the distinction between the a priori and the a posteriori, belief in the external world, and religious belief.

Key works

Books that discuss Hume's views about a range of topics in metaphysics and epistemology (construed broadly, so as to include philosophy of mind, action and language) include Stroud 1977Garrett 1997 and Allison 2008Fogelin 1985 and Loeb 2002 are devoted to his epistemology. For three different approaches to his theory of causation, see Blackburn 1990, Kail 2007 and Millican 2009. For two different approaches to his argument about induction, see Owen 1999 and Peter Millican's article 'Hume's Sceptical Doubts Concerning Induction,' in Millican 2001.

Introductions

Three introductory books that take quite different approaches to Hume's metaphysics and epistemology are Ayer 1980Blackburn 2008 and Wright 2009Norton & Taylor 2008 contains helpful introductory articles on Hume's views about several topics in metaphysics and epistemology.

Related categories

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  1. Studies in the Philosophy of David Hume. [REVIEW]E. F. A. - 1964 - Review of Metaphysics 18 (1):176-176.
  2. Hume. [REVIEW]G. A. - 1961 - Review of Metaphysics 15 (1):197-197.
  3. Zabeeh's Hume: Precursor of Modern Empiricism. [REVIEW]G. A. - 1961 - Review of Metaphysics 15 (1):197-197.
  4. Reason and Conduct in Hume's Treatise. [REVIEW]H. D. A. - 1949 - Journal of Philosophy 46 (24):796.
  5. L'argument(Renforcé) de la Connexion Logique Rejeté En Néerlandais.Derksen Aa - 1976 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 68 (4):232-249.
  6. VI.—Hume's Theory of Universals.R. I. Aaron - 1942 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 42 (1):117-140.
  7. Hume's Theory of Universals.R. I. Aaron - 1941 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 42:117 - 140.
  8. MORRIS, C. R. -Locke, Berkeley, Hume. [REVIEW]R. I. Aaron - 1931 - Mind 40:396.
  9. MALHERBE, Michel: La philosophie empiriste de David Hume. [REVIEW]P. Abraira - 1976 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 11 (11):175-177.
  10. Salas ortueta, Jaime de: "El conocimiento Del mundo externo Y el problema crítico en Leibniz Y en Hume". [REVIEW]P. Abraira - 1976 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 11:172.
  11. Hume's Theory of Consciousness and the Idealist/Realist Interpretation of the "Treatise.".Priscilla Gregory Agnew - 1975 - Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
  12. David Hume y su adhesión inconsciente al escepticismo pirrónico.Lisandro Aguirre - 2010 - Revista de Filosofía y Teoría Política 41:13-40.
    Por sus propias palabras y por las de la mayoría de sus intérpretes, se ha considerado a Hume un escéptico mitigado. Sin embargo, la distinción hecha por el filósofo entre escepticismo pirrónico y académico no es correcta en absoluto. El objetivo de este trabajo es mostrar que quizá la filosofía escéptico-naturalista de Hume no se halla tan distanciada del pirronismo auténtico como lo afirma su propio autor. En tal sentido, intentaremos desentrañar si el 'mitigado' escepticismo del escocés no esconde cierto (...)
  13. Las creencias involuntarias en Sexto Empírico y Hume.Lisandro Aguirre - 2008 - Tópicos 16:5-20.
    The object of study in this paper is belief. Our aim is to show how, through this concept, Hume's modern and Pirro's ancient scepticism may converge into a fairly similar position. Both the theoretical and at the same time practical attitudes consider it licit to "assent to what presents itself to man in an unavoidable way and independently from our will". As we now, there is for Sixtus as well as for Hume something, regardless of the name we give it (...)
  14. An Interpretation of Hume's Theory of the Place of Reason in Ethics and Politics.Henry David Aiken - 1979 - Ethics 90 (1):66-80.
  15. The Philosophy of Hume.H. Aikins - 1894 - Philosophical Review 3:118.
  16. The Philosophy of Hume, as Contained in Extracts From the First Book and the First and Second Sections of the Third Part of the Second Book of the Treatise of Human Nature.Series of Modern Philosophers.Herbert Austin Aikins & E. Hershey Sneath - 1894 - Philosophical Review 3 (1):118-119.
  17. Hume, a Scottish Locke? Comments on Terence Penelhum's Hume.Donald C. Ainslie - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (S1):161-170.
  18. Review of Marina Frasca-Spada, P. J. E. Kail (Eds.), Impressions of Hume[REVIEW]Donald C. Ainslie - 2006 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (4).
  19. Hume, a Scottish Socrates?: Critical Notice of Terence Penelhum, Themes in Hume: The Self, The Will, Religion. [REVIEW]Donald C. Ainslie - 2003 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):133-154.
  20. The Cambridge Companion to Hume's Treatise.Donald C. Ainslie & Annemarie Butler - 2014 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Revered for his contributions to empiricism, skepticism and ethics, David Hume remains one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. His first and broadest work, A Treatise of Human Nature , comprises three volumes, concerning the understanding, the passions and morals. He develops a naturalist and empiricist program, illustrating that the mind operates through the association of impressions and ideas. This Companion features essays by leading scholars that evaluate the philosophical content of the arguments in Hume's (...)
  21. The Cambridge Companion to Hume's Treatise.Donald C. Ainslie & Annemarie Butler (eds.) - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    Revered for his contributions to empiricism, skepticism and ethics, David Hume remains one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. His first and broadest work, A Treatise of Human Nature, comprises three volumes, concerning the understanding, the passions and morals. He develops a naturalist and empiricist program, illustrating that the mind operates through the association of impressions and ideas. This Companion features essays by leading scholars that evaluate the philosophical content of the arguments in Hume's Treatise (...)
  22. Personal Identity, Passions, and "The True Idea of the Human Mind".Lilli Alanen - 2014 - Hume Studies 40 (1):3-28.
    Hume is famous for his criticism of substantial minds, free will, and self-consciousness—central elements in traditional philosophical accounts of persons. His empiricism dissolves self-inspecting minds into heaps of distinct perceptions and turns cognitive faculties into successions of causally related, discrete impressions and ideas. Whatever regularities the complex ideas and their bundles or heaps display are explained by laws of association of ideas, which are supposed to play the same role in the mental world as Newton’s laws of gravitation play in (...)
  23. Milagres e leis da natureza em Peirce e Hume.S. Albieri - 1996 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 22 (2):207-222.
  24. Hume e Peirce acerca do ceticismo cartesiano.Sara Albieri - 2003 - Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 44 (108):244-252.
  25. "Deadborn From the Press": A Study of the Failure of David Hume's "Treatise of Human Nature".Gary Norris Albrightson - 1993 - Dissertation, The University of North Dakota
    This dissertation uses analytical tools from narratology and classical rhetoric to explore Hume's practice as a writer in A Treatise of Human Nature, his first published attempt at philosophy. The first chapter will discuss the problem of the failure of Hume's Treatise, and will also discuss some of the work done by previous scholars on Hume's practice as a writer. Chapter two discusses various problems involved with previous scholars' generalizations about eighteenth-century reading public tastes, and it offers Kenneth Burke's idea (...)
  26. Two Hundred Years After Hume's Treatise.Virgil C. Aldrich - 1939 - Journal of Philosophy 36 (22):600-605.
  27. Hume Readings.Lorenzo Greco & Alessio Vaccari (ed.) - 2012 - Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura.
  28. Impressions of Minor Logic.Calvert Alexander - 1927 - Modern Schoolman 4 (3):33-34.
  29. Impressions of Minor Logic.Calvert Alexander - 1927 - Modern Schoolman 4 (3):49-49.
  30. Il soggetto giuridico, tra coercizione e normatività. In margine a due libri su Hume e Kant.L. Alfieri - 1987 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia Del Diritto 64 (2):245-258.
  31. The Roots of Irreligion in the Modern World.E. L. Allen - 1938 - Hibbert Journal 37:413.
  32. Berkeley's Notions and Hume's Problems.Harold J. Allen - 1971 - Philosophical Forum 2 (3):371.
  33. Farhang Zabeeh. Hume: Precursor of Modern Empiricism. [REVIEW]Harold J. Allen - 1970 - Journal of Value Inquiry 5 (1):75.
  34. Custom and Reason in Hume: A Kantian Reading of the First Book of the Treatise.Henry E. Allison - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    So considered, Hume is viewed as a naturalist, whose project in the first three parts of the first book of the Treatise is to provide an account of the ...
  35. Reflective Judgment and the Application of Logic to Nature: Kant's Deduction of the Principle of Purposiveness as an Answer to Hume.Henry E. Allison - 2003 - In Hans-Johann Glock (ed.), Strawson and Kant. Oxford University Press.
  36. A Lógica da Ficção No "Tratado" de Hume.Pedro Jonas de Almeida - 2016 - Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia 57 (134):455-469.
    RESUMO No Livro I, parte IV, do "Tratado da natureza humana", Hume desenvolve aquilo que vamos chamar de lógica da ficção. Não se trata de um simples erro da imaginação enquanto fantasia, mas de uma propensão a criar ideias, entidades e objetos a partir das percepções presentes na mente. O que resulta daí é um sentido rico e novo de ficção que permite a Hume desenvolver uma história natural da filosofia, descrevendo a gênese inevitável de conceitos metafísicos. Partindo de uma (...)
  37. La place de la critique de Hume dans la formation du réalisme à Oxford dans la première moitié du XXe siècle : quelques aspects.Christophe Alsaleh - 2003 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2 (2):199-212.
  38. The God Dialogues.Torin Alter & Robert J. Howell - 2010 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The God Dialogues is an intriguing and extensive philosophical debate about the existence of God. Engaging and accessible, it covers all the main arguments for and against God's existence, from traditional philosophical "proofs" to arguments that involve the latest developments in biology and physics. Three main characters represent the principal views: Theodore Logan, the theist; Eva Lucien, the atheist; and Gene Sesquois, the agnostic. Their debate takes place during a post-college cross-country road trip during which Gene expresses dismay over his (...)
  39. Mullā Ṣadrā’s Divine Occasionalism and David Hume’s Critique of Causality.Mehdi Aminrazavi - 2008 - Journal of Islamic Philosophy 3:11-21.
  40. La naturalización de la epistemología en Hume.JosÉ Guerrero Del Amo - 2000 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 23:61.
  41. El problema mente-cuerpo en Hume.José Guerrero del Amo - 2000 - Thémata: Revista de Filosofía 24:277-285.
  42. La naturalización de la epistemología en Hume.José Guerrero del Amo - 2000 - Revista de filosofía (Chile) 23 (1):61.
  43. Dialogue Between Berkeley and Hume.Louis Frédéric Ancillon & Charlotte Stanley - 2001 - Hume Studies 27 (1):99-127.
  44. What Would Hume Say? Regularities, Laws, and Mechanisms.Holly Andersen - 2017 - In Phyllis Ilari & Stuart Glennan (eds.), Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanistic Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 157-168.
    This chapter examines the relationship between laws and mechanisms as approaches to characterising generalizations and explanations in science. I give an overview of recent historical discussions where laws failed to satisfy stringent logical criteria, opening the way for mechanisms to be investigated as a way to explain regularities in nature. This followed by a critical discussion of contemporary debates about the role of laws versus mechanisms in describing versus explaining regularities. I conclude by offering new arguments for two roles for (...)
  45. Hume's First Principles.Robert Fendel Anderson - 1966 - Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press.
  46. À Sombra Do Ceticismo: Divórcio Entre Certeza E Materialidade Do Mundo Em Hume/à L´ombre Du Scepticisme: Divorce Entre Certitude Et Materialité Du Monde En Hume.Erico Andrade - 2012 - Pensando: Revista de Filosofia 3 (6):146-160.
    Meu artigo tem como principal objetivo mostrar que Hume apresenta uma posição cética quanto ao problema do mundo externo. Vou mostrar dois princípios que Hume arrola para se defender do ceticismo, mas que não são suficientes para legitimar ou tronar válida a crença no mundo externo. Argumentarei que para Hume só é possível ter um conhecimento imperfeito do mundo externo. Resumé: Mon article a pour but montrer que Hume présent une position sceptique en ce qui concerne la question du monde (...)
  47. Las "deudas metafísicas": Kant y Hume o los "balseros" de la metafísica.Bernardo Pérez Andreo - 2009 - Estudios Filosóficos 58 (168):347-360.
  48. Od Bacona do Hume'a–istota i odcienie empiryzmu w nowożytnej Anglii.Bolesław Andrzejewski - forthcoming - Filozofia.
  49. An Examination of Hume's Theory of Relations.M. R. Annand - 1930 - The Monist 40 (4):581-597.
  50. Hume and Julius Caesar.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1973 - Analysis 34 (1):1 - 7.
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