Hume and Peirce on the Ultimate Stability of Belief

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):245-269 (2015)
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Louis Loeb has argued that Hume is pessimistic while Peirce is optimistic about the attainment of fully stable beliefs. In contrast, we argue that Hume was optimistic about such attainment but only if the scope of philosophical investigation is limited to first-order explanatory questions. Further, we argue that Peirce, after reformulating the pragmatic maxim to accommodate the reality of counterfactuals, was pessimistic about such attainment. Finally, we articulate and respond to Peirce's objection that Hume's skeptical arguments in T 1.4.1 and his commitment to common sense indicate that Hume was confused about whether we could have stable beliefs at all.



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Author Profiles

David W. Agler
Pennsylvania State University
Ryan Pollock
Texas A&M San Antonio

References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books.
The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume - 1751 - New York,: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp.

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