Hume's Scale: How Hume Counts a Miracle's Improbability Twice

Philosophia Christi 4 (2):443 - 453 (2002)
In "Of Miracles," David Hume sets out an imaginary scale in which a testimonial proof for a miracle is pitted against a proof constituted by the law(s) of nature the miracle allegedly violates. I grant (for argument’s sake) the legitimacy of such a pitting of proofs (and, hence, the alleged maximal improbability of a miracle’s occurrence) yet argue that Hume’s scale still runs amok. Indeed, by looking closely at Hume’s understanding of testimonial proof and building on an insight from Keith Ward, I show how Hume’s scale counts the improbability of a miracle’s occurrence against miracle testimony ’two times’
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Ruth Weintraub (1996). The Credibility of Miracles. Philosophical Studies 82 (3):359 - 375.
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