Category Archives: David Hume

Kant’s Iron Cage

In a chapter on “The Ground of the Distinction of All Objects in General into Phenomena and Noumena,” Kant writes, “Everything which the understanding derives from itself is, though not borrowed from experience, at the disposal of the understanding solely … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Critique of Pure Reason, David Hume, Epistemology, Immanuel Kant | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Berkeley and Pascal Read Kant’s Transcendental Aesthetic

Kant famously argues that space and time do not belong to objects perceived, but rather are transcendental conditions for the perception of any object. He begins by noting, “That in which alone the sensations can be posited and ordered in a … Continue reading

Posted in Berkeley, Blaise Pascal, David Hume, Epistemology, First Critique, Immanuel Kant, Kant, Perception, Thomas Nagel, Transcendental Aesthetic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hume’s Pyrrhic Victory

In “An Abstract of the Treatise of Human Nature,” Hume “promises to draw no conclusions but where he is authorized by experience.” Put a bit more formally, this might read: “All true statements will be verified by experience” (logical positivism), or … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Predicting vs. Deciding: Hume’s Determinism

Hume makes no secret that he is a determinist, in a Newtonian mold: “It is universally allowed that matter, in all its operations, is actuated by a necessary force” (Inquiry, 91). One billiard ball of matter moves another, and so … Continue reading

Posted in David Hume, Determinism, Freedom, Philosophy of Action, Philosophy of Mind, Roger Scruton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hume’s Lockean misstep

A key step in Hume’s argument against the rationality of induction is the following: “It is agreed on all hands that there is no known connection between the sensible qualities and the secret powers,” “on which the influence of these … Continue reading

Posted in Aristotle, David Hume, Epistemology, George Berkeley, Hume, Induction, James Ross, John Locke, Matter, Perception, Thought and World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Humean Newman

In one of his Grammar of Assent‘s more famous lines, Newman remarks: “As to Logic, its chain of conclusions hangs loose at both ends; both the point from which the proof should start, and the points at which it should arrive, … Continue reading

Posted in Alvin Plantinga, Blaise Pascal, David Hume, Epistemology, Grammar of Assent, Grue, Induction, Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, John Henry Newman, Logic, Nelson Goodman, Pascal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment