Its Suppressed Premisses


in Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism

Published in print April 1973 | ISBN: 9780198245018
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680823 | DOI:
Its Suppressed Premisses

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This chapter deals with the suppressed premisses of David Hume's argument for inductive scepticism. If there is anything about this argument of Hume which is more admirable than its content, it is the explicitness of it. For the conclusion (j), then, Hume's argument has just three premisses: the two premisses he states, (e) and (f), and the unstated one just mentioned. The whole proposition stated reduces to this: that all predictive-inductive inferences are invalid, and that all the inferences, which result from supplementing the premisses of a predictive-inductive inference by further observational premisses, are also invalid. The essence of Hume's argument is explained. Hume's argument in stage 2 may be summed up in the following way: from premisses which prove at most the invalidity of predictive-inductive inferences, along with the unstated premiss that an inference is unreasonable if it is invalid, Hume concluded that predictive-inductive inferences are unreasonable.

Keywords: David Hume; Hume's argument; suppressed premisses; inductive scepticism; predictive-inductive inferences

Chapter.  2764 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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