Mind 126 (501):53-92 (2017)

Authors
Hsueh Qu
National University of Singapore
Abstract
In this paper, I examine three mutually inconsistent claims that are commonly attributed to Hume: all beliefs are involuntary; some beliefs are subject to normative appraisal; and that ‘Ought implies Can’. I examine the textual support for such ascription, and the options for dealing with the puzzle posed by their inconsistency. In what follows I will put forward some evidence that Hume maintains each of the three positions outlined above. I then examine what I call the ‘prior voluntary action’ solution. I argue that this position in any form fails to account for synchronic rationality. I then raise more specific objections depending on how we disambiguate the position, which can be read as either granting beliefs derivative voluntariness, or as denying their normative significance; the former version is inconsistent with Hume’s treatment of natural abilities, while the latter falls to a regress given Hume’s thesis regarding the inability of actions and passions to be subject to epistemic normativity. I then propose to reject instead for two reasons: first, the weakness of textual support for such an ascription; secondly, Hume’s explicit recognition of the irrelevance of involuntariness to normative evaluation in the moral case.
Keywords Hume  Doxastic Involuntarism  Belief
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1093/mind/fzv181
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
The Ethics of Belief.Richard Feldman - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (3):667-695.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Laying Down Hume's Law.Hsueh Qu - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (1):24-46.
Hume’s Practically Epistemic Conclusions?Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):501-524.
Hume's Epistemology: The State of the Question.Hsueh M. Qu - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):301-323.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hume's Normative Theory of Rationality.Jonathan Brody - 1997 - Dissertation, The Johns Hopkins University
Doxastic Virtues in Hume’s Epistemology.Rico Vitz - 2009 - Hume Studies 35 (1-2):211-29.
Hume’s Practically Epistemic Conclusions?Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):501-524.
Hume's Non-Instrumental and Non-Propositional Decision Theory.Robert Sugden - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):365-391.
Nature and Natural Belief in Hume's Science of the Mind.Kenneth Aaron Richman - 1997 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Narrative and History in Hume's Moral Epistemology.Erin Frykholm - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):21-50.
What Can We Not Do at Will and Why.Hagit Benbaji - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1941-1961.
Hume's Positive Argument on Induction.Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):595-625.
Hume's Beliefs.Kaveh Kamooneh - 2003 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (1):41 – 56.
Projectionism in Hume's Theoretical Philosophy.Atis Zakatistovs - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Ottawa (Canada)

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-10-06

Total views
63 ( #171,345 of 2,455,405 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #40,408 of 2,455,405 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes