Our Historical Debts to Hume's Argument for Scepticism


in Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism

Published in print April 1973 | ISBN: 9780198245018
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680823 | DOI:
Our Historical Debts to Hume's Argument for Scepticism

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This chapter describes the historical debts to Hume's argument for scepticism. It shows the great importance of what has historically been learnt from Hume's argument. The 20th-century inductive fallibilism is first introduced. It then considers the 20th-century theory of logical probability. Inductive fallibilism is so far from being a truth which everyone knows, that it is a truth which, at the ‘organic’ level, no one knows. Deductivism is not an idiosyncratic high re-definition of ‘reasonable inference’. It is a logico-philosophical thesis; and one of long, wide, and deep currency, at least among philosophers; which is still the unstated assumption behind much assessment of the conclusiveness of inferences, both by philosophers and by others; and which to this day has been expressly denied by almost no philosopher.

Keywords: Hume's argument; scepticism; inductive fallibilism; deductivism; historical debts; inferences

Chapter.  5441 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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