100 Hume on skeptical doubts.2

100 Hume on skeptical doubts.2 - What reasoning justifies...

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Hume, Skeptical Doubts Part II Thesis: Our conclusions from experience about matters of fact are not based on reasoning. (There is no reasoning that justifies these conclusions.) Powers: the underlying force or causal mechanism by which causes bring about affects. Hume claims that while we observe the behavior of objects and events, we don’t observe, or form any real conception of powers. (We know much more about the underlying structures than were known in Hume’s day. For example, Hume says that we have no idea how bread nourishes us. We now know what nutrients are found in bread, how bread gets broken during the stages of digestion, how blood carries nutrient to cells in the body, how cells absorb nutrients, etc. Does this fundamentally change Hume’s point?) The main question: Why believe that things will behave in the future as they did in the past. (This question applies at the micro-level as well as at the macro-level.)
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Unformatted text preview: What reasoning justifies the inference? The reasoning is not a priori or about the relation of ideas. Is there a way of reasoning inductively that justifies the inference? Try this: In the more distant past, I predicted that things will continue to behave as they have so far. In the less distant past this prediction turned out to be true. Therefore, in what was once the future things continued to behave as they had in the past. Therefore, in the actual future things will continue do so. Does this reasoning give a good answer to the main question? This is what Hume says: “All our experimental conclusions proceed on the supposition that the future will conformable to the past. To endeavor …the proof of the last supposition by probable argument… must be evidently going in a circle.” (226)...
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2011 for the course PHILOSOPHY 100 taught by Professor Stecker during the Spring '11 term at Central Mich..

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