Hume's Account of Causation

Dissertation, Syracuse University (1999)

Authors
Sun Demirli
Bogazici University
Abstract
Hume begins his discussion of causation with the promise that he will explain fully the relation of cause and effect, and argues strenuously that there is no impression from which the idea of necessary connection is derived. At the end of his discussion, he summarizes his views by offering his "two definitions of cause" where he asserts that the causal relation can be nothing but the regular succession of cause and effect. This is traditionally thought to be evidence for the view that Hume reduces causation to regular succession and that he denies causal realism which asserts that there are necessary connections in nature to be taken into consideration. ;There is no evidence for the claim that Hume distinguishes between what we know of causation and what causation in itself is. On the contrary, he denies the existence of an external physical world and limits reality to our ideas. It seems to be a mistake, therefore, to claim that he believes that there are necessary connections that we can never know. ;Just as there are analytical elements, there are both naturalistic and sceptical elements in his philosophy. However, the way in which these three elements are interrelated is quite different. His natural theory of belief does not concern causal realism but our causal beliefs. He never claims that we have a natural belief that there are necessary connections in nature. What he claims is that after the observation of a regular succession of cause and effect, the experience of the cause not only brings the idea of the effect into our mind but brings this idea together with an "impression of necessity". When we examine the way in which Hume characterizes this impression, we see that it plays an important role in Hume's theory of natural beliefs. It is the irresistible way in which the idea of the effect enters into our mind. It is what, Hume calls the "vivacity" or "violence" which turns a simple conception of the idea of the effect into a causal belief about the occurrence of this effect. And this is the context in which Hume introduces his scepticism. It does not consist of his belief that we lack knowledge of causation but consists of his criticism of our nature in forming such causal beliefs
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 41,583
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hume on Necessary Causal Connections.Katherin A. Rogers - 1991 - Philosophy 66 (258):517 - 521.
Causation as a Philosophical Relation in Hume.Graciela De Pierris - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):499 - 545.
Did Hume Hold a Regularity Theory of Causation?Justin Broackes - 1993 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 1 (1):99 – 114.
Causation as a Philosophical Relation in Hume.Graciela De Pierris - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):499-545.
On Hume’s Theory Of Cause-Effect Relation Once Again.Piotr Żuchowski - 2011 - Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia 6 (1):77-92.
Scepticism, Causal Science and 'The Old Hume'.John P. Wright - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):123-142.
Hume, Causation and Two Arguments Concerning God.Jason Megill - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 6 (2):169--177.
Causation, Quasi-Realism, and David Hume.Angela Michelle Coventry - 2004 - Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-04

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature