Review of Metaphysics 48 (4):920-921 (1995)

Abstract
The first three essays by John Biro, Alexander Rosenberg, and Robert Fogelin, respectively, focus on Hume's project to develop a science of human nature that would provide a foundation for all other sciences. Biro shows that what unites Hume's science of human nature and twentieth-century cognitive sciences is their mutual commitment to explain the mind as one would any other natural phenomenon. Rosenberg traces Hume's influence on the development of philosophy of science to show how he came to be regarded as the most important philosopher to have written in English. Fogelin characterizes Hume, at least with regard to his criticism of our intellectual capacities, as a "radical, unreserved, unmitigated sceptic". Though acknowledging Hume's constructive idea that nonrational aspects of our nature render these skeptical conclusions inconsequential, he stresses that this too "is a sceptical conclusion", a view endorsed by David Norton, whose introduction to the volume argues that Hume is a "post-sceptical" philosopher who "consciously developed a philosophical position that is at one and the same time fundamentally sceptical and fundamentally constructive". Addressing Hume's application of his science of human nature to religion, J. C. A. Gaskin's essay perspicaciously outlines his criticism of the design argument, his argument against the believability of miracles, and his account of the merits of secular morality over religious morality. The final section of Gaskin's essay convincingly refutes attempts to show Hume is a fideist or to find a justification of faith in his theory of natural belief.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph199548481
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