Quasi-Realism and Inductive Scepticism in Hume’s Theory of Causation


Authors
Dominic K. Dimech
University of Sydney
Abstract
Interpreters of Hume on causation consider that an advantage of the ‘quasi-realist’ reading is that it does not commit him to scepticism or to an error theory about causal reasoning. It is unique to quasi-realism that it maintains this positive epistemic result together with a rejection of metaphysical realism about causation: the quasi-realist supplies an appropriate semantic theory in order to justify the practice of talking ‘as if’ there were causal powers in the world. In this paper, I problematise the quasi-realist reading of Hume on causation by showing how quasi-realism does not speak to inductive scepticism. I also offer evidence that Hume takes inductive scepticism to result from his theory of causation, and that his scepticism is tied to his rejection of metaphysical causal realism.
Keywords David Hume  Quasi-Realism  Inductive Scepticism  Induction  Causation  Projectivism
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2018.1564776
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