Hume, causal realism, and causal science

Mind 118 (471):647-712 (2009)
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Abstract

The ‘New Hume’ interpretation, which sees Hume as a realist about ‘thick’ Causal powers, has been largely motivated by his evident commitment to causal language and causal science. In this, however, it is fundamentally misguided, failing to recognise how Hume exploits his anti-realist conclusions about (upper-case) Causation precisely to support (lower-case) causal science. When critically examined, none of the standard New Humean arguments — familiar from the work of Wright, Craig, Strawson, Buckle, Kail, and others — retains any significant force against the plain evidence of Hume's; texts. But the most devastating objection comes from Hume's own applications of his analysis of causation, to the questions of ‘the immateriality of the soul’ and ‘liberty and necessity’. These show that the New Hume interpretation has misunderstood the entire purpose of his ‘Chief Argument’, and presented him as advocating some of the very positions he is arguing most strongly against

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Citations of this work

The Subject of Experience.Galen Strawson - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Hume's Fork, and His Theory of Relations.Peter Millican - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1):3-65.
Type Distinctions of Reason and Hume’s Separability Principle.Hsueh Qu - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (1):90-111.
Hume's Scepticism and Realism.Jani Hakkarainen - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):283-309.
Hume’s Determinism.Peter Millican - 2010 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 40 (4):611-642.

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References found in this work

Language, Truth and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
Language, Truth, and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - Philosophy 23 (85):173-176.

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