Hume and Reason

Vol 4, No 2 (2000) • Principia: an international journal of epistemology

Autor: Marco Antonio Frangiotti


In this article I challenge the current view that Hume is a naturalist as well as a sceptic. I hold he is a peculiar kind of rationalist. I argue that his position is best viewed as a philosophical approach designed to accommodate the tendencies of human nature. This task is carried out by means of a second-order reflection, which turns out to be based upon reason of a non-demonstrative kind. It is brought into clear focus when the mind discovers a conflict between two tendencies. In section one, I highlight this kind of conflict in Hume's account of causal inference. In section two, I unfold the conflict that can be found in his account of our belief in the continued and independent existence of objects. In section three, I show how it is possible to reconcile our tendencies. I maintain that this reconciliation is effected by means of second-order, reason-based arguments. In section four, I examine the status of Hume's scepticism in the light of the preceding account and conclude that his standpoint is not sceptical at all.

ISSN: 1414-4217


Texto Completo:

Palavras-Chave: Reason; skepticism; causality

Principia: an international journal of epistemology

"Principia: an international journal of epistemology" was founded in 1997 and regularly publishes articles, discussions and review. The journal aims to publish original scholarly work especially in epistemology area , with an emphasis on material of general interest to academic philosophers. Originally published only in print version (ISSN: 1414-4247), in 2005 the journal began to be published also in online version (ISSN: 1808-1711). Since 1999 are published three issues per year: in April, August and December. Qualis CAPES: A2