Is Hume a Sceptic with Regard to Reason?

Philosophy Research Archives 10:275-319 (1984)
Abstract
This paper argues that, contrary to most interpretations, e.g., those of Reid, Popkin and Passmore, Hume is not a sceptic with regard to reason. The argument of Treatise I, IV. i, of course, has a sceptical conclusion with regard to reason, and a somewhat similar point is made by Cleanthes in the Dialogues. This paper argues that the argument of Treatise I, IV. i is parallel to similar arguments in Bentham and Laplace. The latter are, as far as they go, sound, and so is Hume’s. But the limitations of all mean that they cannot sustain a general argument against reason. Hume the historian is quite aware of these limitations. So is Hume the philosopher. A careful examination of the other references in the Treatise to the argument of I, IV. i reveals that Hume not only rejects but constructs a sound case against accepting the sceptical conclusion, arguing that reason can indeed show the sceptic’s argument to be unreasonable. A close reading of the Dialogues shows that Hume there also draws the same conclusion. The thrust of the paper is to go some way towards showing that it is a myth that Hume is a pyrrhonian sceptic
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0164-0771
DOI 10.5840/pra1984105
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,954
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hume on Practical Reason.Kieran Setiya - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):365–389.
Hume's Argument in Treatise 1.3.3.Gregg Osborne - 2005 - Hume Studies 31 (2):225-247.
Hume's Standard of Taste and the de Gustibus Sceptic.Brian Ribeiro - 2007 - British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (1):16-28.
Hume on the Distinction of Reason.Paul Hoffman - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (6):1131 - 1141.
Hume's Sceptical Argument Against Reason.Fred Wilson - 1983 - Hume Studies 9 (2):90-129.
Was Hume a Subjectivist?Fred Wilson - 1988 - Philosophy Research Archives 14:247-282.
Kant's Transcendental Strategy.John J. Callanan - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224):360–381.
Hume and Ancient Philosophy.Peter Loptson - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (4):741 - 772.
Is Hume a Sceptic with Regard to the Senses?Fred Wilson - 1989 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 27 (1):49-73.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-12-02

Total downloads
27 ( #236,826 of 2,293,875 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #411,560 of 2,293,875 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature