What can causal claims mean?

Philosophia 37 (3):459-470 (2009)
Authors
Walter Ott
University of Virginia
Abstract
How can Hume account for the meaning of causal claims? The causal realist, I argue, is, on Hume's view, saying something nonsensical. I argue that both realist and agnostic interpretations of Hume are inconsistent with his view of language and intentionality. But what then accounts for this illusion of meaning? And even when we use causal terms in accordance with Hume’s definitions, we seem merely to be making disguised self-reports. I argue that Hume’s view is not as implausible as it sounds by exploring his conception of language.
Keywords Hume  Meaning  Language  Causation  Power
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DOI 10.1007/s11406-008-9167-z
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A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume - 1738 - Oxford University Press.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1689 - Oxford University Press.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Hume David - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), The Monist. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.
Hume.Barry Stroud - 1977 - Routledge.

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