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

Authors
Peter Millican
Oxford University
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
Keywords Hume  causation
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DOI 10.1093/mind/fzp095
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References found in this work BETA

Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
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Language, Truth, and Logic.A. J. Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.

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Citations of this work BETA

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.
Newton and Hume.Matias Kimi Slavov - forthcoming - Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences.

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