The Title Principle (Or Lack Thereof) in the Enquiry

History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (3):257-274 (2016)
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Abstract
The Title Principle is seen by a number of commentators as crucial to Hume’s resolution of skeptical doubts in THN 1.4.7, thus providing an answer to Kemp Smith’s (1941) famous worry regarding the tension between Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism. However, I will argue that in the Enquiry, Hume rejects both the Title Principle and the role of the passions in his epistemology. Those who think that neither the Title Principle nor the passions play a significant role in THN 1.4.7 will likely take this as grist for their mills. But for those who endorse such interpretations, my argument presents an interpretive burden to provide some explanation as to why Hume might have become dissatisfied with this epistemic framework, abandoning it in his later work. Having raised this interpretive burden, my paper also seeks to bear it by providing such an explanation.
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