The Age of Trickery


This is partly fictional. It is chiefly a reconstruction (not always faithful) of Hume’s fundamental uses of notions of similarity, mostly based on Enquiry. It is the first part (out of four) of a monograph on the evolution of similarity toolmaking. Histories of doctrines are common in our discipline, not so for histories of tools; this is what it’s about. What’s disturbing: I write as if I were talking about the customs and beliefs of ancient tribes instead of real philosophers. Advantages: helps focus on what similarity tools are apt to, I don’t have to worry about my Hume being merely MY Hume; more fun. Here is the thematic layout: 1.1: (very fictional) methodological introduction; page 2. 1.2: on the origin of ideas + missing shade of blue; p. 4. 1.3: the Xenophobia model; p. 12. 1.4: case studies of cognitive trickery; p. 16 : 1.4.1: arguments from experience; p. 17. 1.4.2: the idea of necessary connection; p. 21. 1.4.3: abstract and very general ideas; p. 23. 1.5: conceptual distinctions between used similarity tools and a few comments; p. 29.

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Ghislain Guigon
University of Geneva (PhD)


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