Hume and instrumental reason

Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (4):519-538 (1998)
Philosophical folklore has it that David Hume endorsed an instrumental conception of practical reason. He seems explicitly to support the key tenets of this view of reason, and also to share its key motivations. Yet Hume himself provides arguments which rule out the possibility of any sort of practical reason, instrumental or non-instrumental. A first look at his arguments reveals that they depend on assumptions about the nature of reason that a modern instrumentalist may want to reject. A closer look, however, reveals that they may be recast on the basis of assumptions lying at the core of a modern instrumentalist's conception of reason
Keywords Hume  Instrumental Reasoning
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DOI 10.1023/A:1004351001452
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