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Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry

Oxford University Press (2001)

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  1. Intuitions for Inferences.Sinan Dogramaci - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (2):371-399.
    In this paper, I explore a question about deductive reasoning: why am I in a position to immediately infer some deductive consequences of what I know, but not others? I show why the question cannot be answered in the most natural ways of answering it, in particular in Descartes’s way of answering it. I then go on to introduce a new approach to answering the question, an approach inspired by Hume’s view of inductive reasoning.
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  • Humes Old and New: Four Fashionable Falsehoods, and One Unfashionable Truth.Peter Millican - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):163-199.
    Hume has traditionally been understood as an inductive sceptic with positivist tendencies, reducing causation to regular succession and anticipating the modern distinctions between analytic and synthetic, deduction and induction. The dominant fashion in recent Hume scholarship is to reject all this, replacing the ‘Old Hume’ with various New alternatives. Here I aim to counter four of these revisionist readings, presenting instead a broadly traditional interpretation but with important nuances, based especially on Hume’s later works. He asked that we should treat (...)
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  • Hume's Practically Epistemic Conclusions?Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):501-524.
    The inoffensive title of Section 1.4.7 of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, ‘Conclusion of this Book’, belies the convoluted treatment of scepticism contained within. It is notoriously difficult to decipher Hume’s considered response to scepticism in this section, or whether he even has one. In recent years, however, one line of interpretation has gained popularity in the literature. The ‘usefulness and agreeableness reading’ (henceforth U&A) interprets Hume as arguing in THN 1.4.7 that our beliefs and/or epistemic policies are justified via (...)
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  • Why Hume Cannot Be A Realist.Jani Hakkarainen - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):143-161.
    In this paper, I argue that there is a sceptical argument against the senses advanced by Hume that forms a decisive objection to the Metaphysically Realist interpretations of his philosophy – such as the different naturalist and New Humean readings. Hume presents this argument, apparently starting with the primary/secondary qualities distinction, both in A Treatise of Human Nature, Book 1, Part 4, Section 4 (Of the modern philosophy) (1739) and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, Section 12 (Of the Academical or (...)
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  • Hume's Positive Argument on Induction.Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):595-625.
    Discussion on whether Hume's treatment of induction is descriptive or normative has usually centred on Hume's negative argument, somewhat neglecting the positive argument. In this paper, I will buck this trend, focusing on the positive argument. First, I argue that Hume's positive and negative arguments should be read as addressing the same issues . I then argue that Hume's positive argument in the Enquiry is normative in nature; drawing on his discussion of scepticism in Section 12 of the Enquiry, I (...)
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  • ‘The Modern Disciple of the Academy’: Hume, Shelley, and Sir William Drummond.Thomas Holden - 2011 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):161-188.
    Sir William Drummond (1770?-1828) enjoyed considerable notoriety in the early nineteenth century as the author of the Academical Questions (1805), a manifesto for immaterialism that is at the same time a creative synthesis of ancient and modern forms of scepticism. In this paper I advance an interpretation of Drummond's work that emphasises his extensive employment and adaptation of Hume's own ‘Academical or Sceptical Philosophy’. I also document the impact of the Academical Questions on the contemporary philosophical scene, including its decisive (...)
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  • Hume on Knowledge, Certainty and Probability: Anticipating the Disintegration of the Analytic/Synthetic Divide?Kevin Meeker - 2007 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):226–242.
    This paper contends that the first argument of Hume's "Of scepticism with regard to reason" entails that humans have no knowledge as Hume understands knowledge. In defending this claim, we also see how Hume's argument anticipates an important aspect of an extremely influential 20th century development: the collapse of the analytic/synthetic distinction.
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  • Sensibilism, Psychologism, and Kant's Debt to Hume.Brian A. Chance - 2011 - Kantian Review 16 (3):325-349.
    Hume’s account of causation is often regarded a challenge Kant must overcome if the Critical philosophy is to be successful. But from Kant’s time to the present, Hume’s denial of our ability to cognize supersensible objects, a denial that relies heavily on his account of causation, has also been regarded as a forerunner to Kant’s critique of metaphysics. After identifying reasons for rejecting Wayne Waxman’s recent account of Kant’s debt to Hume, I present my own, more modest account of this (...)
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  • Psychology, Epistemology, and Skepticism in Hume’s Argument About Induction.Louis E. Loeb - 2006 - Synthese 152 (3):321 - 338.
    Since the mid-1970s, scholars have recognized that the skeptical interpretation of Hume’s central argument about induction is problematic. The science of human nature presupposes that inductive inference is justified and there are endorsements of induction throughout Treatise Book I. The recent suggestion that I.iii.6 is confined to the psychology of inductive inference cannot account for the epistemic flavor of its claims that neither a genuine demonstration nor a non-question-begging inductive argument can establish the uniformity principle. For Hume, that inductive inference (...)
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  • "The Real 'Letter to Arbuthnot'? A Motive For Hume's Probability Theory in an Early Modern Design Argument".Catherine Kemp - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):468-491.
    John Arbuthnot's celebrated but flawed paper in the Philosophical Transactions of 1711-12 is a philosophically and historically plausible target of Hume's probability theory. Arbuthnot argues for providential design rather than chance as a cause of the annual birth ratio, and the paper was championed as a successful extension of the new calculations of the value of wagers in games of chance to wagers about natural and social phenomena. Arbuthnot replaces the earlier anti-Epicurean notion of chance with the equiprobability assumption of (...)
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  • Hume's Changing Views on the 'Durability' of Scepticism.Brian Ribeiro - 2009 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):215-236.
    While Hume is famous for his development and defence of various arguments for radical scepticism, Hume was bothered by the tension between his ‘abstruse’ philosophical reflections and ordinary life: If he often felt intensely sceptical in his study, he nonetheless felt genuinely unable to take these sceptical views seriously when he returned to the concerns and activities of everyday life. Hume's published work shows a deep and ongoing preoccupation with this tension, and I believe it also shows that Hume's view (...)
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  • Psychology, Epistemology, and Skepticism in Hume’s Argument About Induction.Louis E. Loeb - 2006 - Synthese 152 (3):321-338.
    Since the mid-1970s, scholars have recognized that the skeptical interpretation of Hume's central argument about induction is problematic. The science of human nature presupposes that inductive inference is justified and there are endorsements of induction throughout "Treatise" Book I. The recent suggestion that I.iii.6 is confined to the psychology of inductive inference cannot account for the epistemic flavor of its claims that neither a genuine demonstration nor a non-question-begging inductive argument can establish the uniformity principle. For Hume, that inductive inference (...)
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  • Excuses for Hume's Skepticism.Yuval Avnur - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):264-306.