Chapter

Reasoning Reasonably

Wayne Waxman

in Kant and the Empiricists

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195177398
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199786176 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195177398.003.0020
 Reasoning Reasonably

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This chapter examines Hume’s theory of empirical reason, and the difference between its rational and its irrational exercise (reasoning reasonably and unreasonably). The theory has five structural levels: (1) reasoning from one matter of fact or real existence to another takes the form of an inference from an impression to an idea; (2) necessary connections between cause and effect; (3) past experience and our remembrance of the constant junction of distinct, successive, contiguous objects; (4) our belief in the uniformity of nature; and (5) customary association. The role of customary association in regulating empirical rationality, first species probable reasoning, and contrariety are discussed.

Keywords: David Hume; empirical reason; reasoning; association; rationality; contrariety

Chapter.  20201 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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