Journal of the History of Philosophy 49 (1):65-85 (2011)
It is hardly a secret that with the philosophy of David Hume a conception of habit comes to occupy center-stage within epistemological and psychological reflection. Habit or custom is the "great guide of human life,"1 particularly in that it conditions, as the ground of the association of ideas, all our inductions concerning the objects of experience, and our beliefs that causal relations obtain between them. Yet according to Hume, we cannot say what habit itself is. Certainly, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding describes a general and apparently common conception of "habit or custom"—terms which are presented as synonymous—in the following manner: "Wherever the repetition of any particular act or operation ..
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