Integrating Hume’s Accounts of Belief and Justification

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):279-303 (2001)
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Abstract

Hume’s claim that a state is a belief is often intertwined---though without his remarking on this fact---with epistemic approval of the state. This requires explanation. Beliefs, in Hume’s view, are steady dispositions , nature’s provision for a steady influence on the will and action. Hume’s epistemic distinctions call attention to circumstances in which the presence of conflicting beliefs undermine a belief’s influence and thereby its natural function. On one version of this interpretation, to say that a belief is justified, ceteris paribus, is to say that for all that has been shown the belief would be steady in its influence under suitable reflection. On a second version, it is to say that prima facie justification is an intrinsic property of the state, in virtue of its steadiness. These versions generate different understandings of the relationship between Parts iii and iv of Book I of the Treatise

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Louis Loeb
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Citations of this work

I—The Humean Thesis on Belief.Hannes Leitgeb - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):143-185.
Hume's Epistemology: The State of the Question.Hsueh M. Qu - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):301-323.
Hume on Education.Dan O'Brien - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):619-642.

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References found in this work

The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
Belief, Truth and Knowledge.D. M. Armstrong - 1973 - London,: Cambridge University Press.
Contemporary Theories of Knowledge.John Pollock - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):131-140.
Cognition and commitment in Hume's philosophy.Don Garrett - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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