Hume: for and against natural laws

In his Inquiry, Hume argues strongly for two claims that seem to me to be in some tension with one another. First, that induction (inferring the future from the past) has no rational foundation; the “powers” that operate in nature are absolutely hidden from us, and our belief in regular causes is founded simply on human custom. And then second, that every supposed miracle is a violation of the “laws of nature” (Part 10).

But what are laws of nature if not inductive generalizations from experience? Hume undermines the metaphysical foundations of his own argument against miracles!

This entry was posted in David Hume, Epistemology, Induction, Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Miracle and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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