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Hume on External Existence: A Sceptical Predicament

Dissertation, University of Sydney (2018)

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  1. The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Barnes & Noble.
    Immensely intelligible, thought-provoking guide by Nobel prize-winner considers such topics as the distinction between appearance and reality, the existence and nature of matter, idealism, inductive logic, intuitive knowledge, many other subjects. For students and general readers, there is no finer introduction to philosophy than this informative, affordable and highly readable edition that is "concise, free from technical terms, and perfectly clear to the general reader with no prior knowledge of the subject."—The Booklist of the American Library Association.
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  • Extreme Skepticism and Commitment in the Treatise.Karánn Durland - 2011 - Hume Studies 37 (1):65-98.
    The extreme skepticism that Hume’s dangerous dilemma introduces at the end of the first Book of the Treatise is deeply unsettling, in part because it seems to undermine Hume’s commitments to common life and philosophy, but also because Hume seems not to take its sweeping doubts seriously. He refuses to abandon his daily activities and philosophical pursuits, and he offers no clear account of what entitles him to sustain them. This paper explores a variety of tactics for addressing these opposing (...)
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  • Imagined Causes: Hume’s Conception of Objects.Stefanie Rocknak - 2012 - Springer.
    This book provides the first comprehensive account of Hume’s conception of objects in Book I of the Treatise. What, according to Hume, are objects? Ideas? Impressions? Mind-independent objects? All three? None of the above? Through a close textual analysis, I show that Hume thought that objects are imagined ideas. However, I argue that he struggled with two accounts of how and when we imagine such ideas. On the one hand, Hume believed that we always and universally imagine that objects are (...)
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  • Hume's Sceptical Doubts Concerning Induction.Peter Millican - 2002 - In Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry. Clarendon Press.
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  • Against the Logicians.Sextus Empiricus - 1997 - Harvard University Press.
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  • David Hume and the Problem of Other Minds.Anik Waldow - 2009 - Continuum.
    The problem of other minds has widely been considered as a special problem within the debate about scepticism. If one cannot be sure that there is a world existing independently of one's mind, how can we be sure that there are minds - minds which we cannot even experience the way we experience material objects? This book shows, through a detailed examination of David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature, that these concerns are unfounded. By focusing on Hume's discussion of (...)
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  • The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism.Barry Stroud - 1984 - Oxford University Press.
    This book raises questions about the nature of philosophy by examining the source and significance of one central philosophical problem: how can we know anything about the world around us? Stroud discusses and criticizes the views of such philosophers as Descartes, Kant, J.L. Austin, G.E. Moore, R. Carnap, W.V. Quine, and others.
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  • The Secret Connexion: Causation, Realism, and David Hume.Galen Strawson - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    It is widely supposed that David Hume invented and espoused the "regularity" theory of causation, holding that causal relations are nothing but a matter of one type of thing being regularly followed by another. It is also widely supposed that he was not only right about this, but that it was one of his greatest contributions to philosophy. Strawson here argues that the regularity theory of causation is indefensible, and that Hume never adopted it in any case. Strawson maintains that (...)
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  • The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle.Richard Popkin - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the third edition of a classic book first published in 1960, which has sold thousands of copies in two paperback edition and has been translated into several foreign languages. Popkin's work ha generated innumerable citations, and remains a valuable stimulus to current historical research. In this updated version, he has revised and expanded throughout, and has added three new chapters, one on Savonarola, one on Henry More and Ralph Cudworth, and one on Pascal. This authoritative treatment of the (...)
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  • Hume's System: An Examination of the First Book of His Treatise.David Pears - 1990 - Oxford University Press.
    In this compelling analysis David Pears examines the foundations of Hume's theory of the mind as presented in the first book of the Treatise. Past studies have tended to take one of two extreme views: that Hume relies exclusively on a theory of meaning, or that he relies exclusively on a theory of truth and evidence. Steering a middle course between these positions, Pears argues that Hume's theory of ideas serves both functions. He examines in detail its application to three (...)
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  • Hume's Reason.David Owen - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    This book explores Hume's account of reason and its role in human understanding, seen in the context of other notable accounts by philosophers of the early modern period. David Owen offers new interpretations of many of Hume's most famous arguments about induction, belief, scepticism, the passions, and moral distinctions.
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  • Thomas Reid's Theory of Perception.Ryan Nichols - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Nichols offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher Thomas Reid's theory of perception - by far the most important feature of his philosophical system. Nichols's consummate knowledge of Reid's texts, lively examples, and plainspoken style make this book especially readable. It will be the definitive analysis for a long time to come.
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  • Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy.P. J. E. Kail - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Religion and the external world -- Projection, religion, and the external world -- The senses, reason and the imagination -- Realism, meaning and justification : the external world and religious belief -- Modality, projection and realism -- 'Our profound ignorance' : causal realism, and the failure to detect necessity -- Spreading the mind : projection, necessity and realism -- Into the labyrinth : persons, modality, and Hume's undoing -- Value, projection, and realism -- Gilding : projection, value and secondary qualities (...)
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  • Hume's Skeptical Crisis: A Textual Study.Robert J. Fogelin - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Of knowledge and probability: a quick tour of part 3, book 1. Of knowledge ; Of probability; and of the idea of cause and effect ; Why a cause is always necessary? ; Of the component parts of our reasonings concerning causes and effects ; Of the impressions of the senses and memory ; Of the inference from the impression to the idea ; Of the nature of the idea, or belief ; Of the causes of belief ; Of the (...)
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  • David Hume's Theory of Mind.Daniel E. Flage - 1990 - Routledge.
    INTRODUCTION Anyone who reads David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature cannot but be struck by the diversity of philosophical issues Hume addresses, ...
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  • Meditations on First Philosophy.René Descartes - 1984 [1641] - Caravan Books.
    I have always considered that the two questions respecting God and the Soul were the chief of those that ought to be demonstrated by philosophical rather than ...
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  • Hume's Enlightenment Tract: The Unity and Purpose of an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Stephen Buckle - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
    Hume's Enlightenment Tract is the first full study for forty years of David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. The Enquiry has, contrary to its author's expressed wishes, long lived in the shadow of its predecessor, A Treatise of Human Nature. Stephen Buckle presents the Enquiry in a fresh light, and aims to raise it to its rightful position in Hume's work and in the history of philosophy.
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  • Locke, Berkeley, Hume; Central Themes.Jonathan Bennett - 1971 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The thoughts of three philosophers on three topics: meaning, causality, and objectivity, are the focus of this study.
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  • Hume on Causation.Helen Beebee - 2006 - Routledge.
    Hume is traditionally credited with inventing the ‘regularity theory’ of causation, according to which the causal relation between two events consists merely in the fact that events of the first kind are always followed by events of the second kind. Hume is also traditionally credited with two other, hugely influential positions: the view that the world appears to us as a world of unconnected events, and inductive scepticism: the view that the ‘problem of induction’, the problem of providing a justification (...)
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  • Hume's Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise.Donald L. M. Baxter - 2008 - New York: Routledge.
    In this volume--the first, focused study of Hume on time and identity--Baxter focuses on Hume’s treatment of the concept of numerical identity, which is central to Hume's famous discussions of the external world and personal identity. Hume raises a long unappreciated, and still unresolved, difficulty with the concept of identity: how to represent something as "a medium betwixt unity and number." Superficial resemblance to Frege’s famous puzzle has kept the difficulty in the shadows. Hume’s way of addressing it makes sense (...)
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  • A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume’s Treatise.Annette Baier - 1991 - Harvard University Press.
    " By the end, we can see the cause to which Hume has been true throughout the work.
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  • The Inquiry in Hume’s Treatise.Janel Broughton - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (4):537 - 556.
    In the Introduction to A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume says he will make a careful empirical study of the human mind and produce a “science of man.” This will provide us with knowledge of the principles of human nature, and these principles will explain “our reasoning faculty, and the nature of our ideas,” “our tastes and sentiments,” and the union of “men … in society”. This seems to be a wholly constructive philosophical ambition, and yet Hume also claims to (...)
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  • Hume's True Scepticism.Donald C. Ainslie - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    David Hume is famous as a sceptical philosopher but the nature of his scepticism is difficult to pin down. Hume's True Scepticism provides the first sustained interpretation of Part 4 of Book 1 of Hume's Treatise: his deepest engagement with sceptical arguments, in which he notes that, while reason shows that we ought not to believe the verdicts of reason or the senses, we do so nonetheless. Donald C. Ainslie addresses Hume's theory of representation; his criticisms of Locke, Descartes, and (...)
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  • The Concept of Body in Hume’s Treatise.Miren Boehm - 2013 - ProtoSociology:206-220.
    Hume’s views concerning the existence of body or external objects are notoriously difficult and intractable. The paper sheds light on the concept of body in Hume’s Treatise by defending three theses. First, that Hume’s fundamental tenet that the only objects that are present to the mind are perceptions must be understood as methodological, rather than metaphysical or epistemological. Second, that Hume considers legitimate the fundamental assumption of natural philosophy that through experience and observation we know body. Third, that many of (...)
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  • Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.Thomas Reid - 2002 - Cambridge University Press.
    Thomas Reid was a philosopher who founded the Scottish school of 'common sense'. Much of Reid's work is a critique of his contemporary, David Hume, whose empiricism he rejects. In this work, written after Reid's appointment to a professorship at the university of Glasgow, and published in 1785, he turns his attention to ideas about perception, memory, conception, abstraction, judgement, reasoning and taste. He examines the work of his predecessors and contemporaries, arguing that 'when we find philosophers maintaining that there (...)
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  • Hume's Scepticism and Realism.Jani Hakkarainen - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):283-309.
    In this article, a novel interpretation of one of the problems of Hume scholarship is defended: his view of Metaphysical Realism or the belief in an external world (that there are ontologically and causally perception-independent, absolutely external and continued, i.e. Real entities). According to this interpretation, Hume's attitude in the domain of philosophy should be distinguished from his view in the domain of everyday life: Hume the philosopher suspends his judgement on Realism, whereas Hume the common man firmly believes in (...)
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  • Hume Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise.Donald L. M. Baxter - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (3):435-443.
    In this volume--the first, focused study of Hume on time and identity--Baxter focuses on Hume’s treatment of the concept of numerical identity, which is central to Hume's famous discussions of the external world and personal identity. Hume raises a long unappreciated, and still unresolved, difficulty with the concept of identity: how to represent something as "a medium betwixt unity and number." Superficial resemblance to Frege’s famous puzzle has kept the difficulty in the shadows. Hume’s way of addressing it makes sense (...)
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  • An Inquiry Into the Human Mind, on the Principles of Common Sense.Thomas Reid - 1997 - Cambridge University Press.
    Thomas Reid, the Scottish natural and moral philosopher, was one of the founding members of the Aberdeen Philosophical Society and a significant figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Reid believed that common sense should form the foundation of all philosophical inquiry. He criticised the sceptical philosophy propagated by his fellow Scot David Hume and the Anglo-Irish bishop George Berkeley, who asserted that the external world did not exist outside the human mind. Reid was also critical of the theory of ideas propagated (...)
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  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Tom L. Beauchamp (ed.) - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
    Tom Beauchamp presents a new edition, designed especially for the student reader, of An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, the classic work in which David Hume gave a general exposition of his philosophy to a broad educated readership. An authoritative new version of the text is preceded by a substantial introduction explaining the historical and intellectual background to the work and surveying its main themes. The volume also includes detailed explanatory notes on the text, a glossary of terms, and a section (...)
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  • Why Hume Cannot Be A Realist.Jani Hakkarainen - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):143-161.
    In this paper, I argue that there is a sceptical argument against the senses advanced by Hume that forms a decisive objection to the Metaphysically Realist interpretations of his philosophy – such as the different naturalist and New Humean readings. Hume presents this argument, apparently starting with the primary/secondary qualities distinction, both in A Treatise of Human Nature, Book 1, Part 4, Section 4 (Of the modern philosophy) (1739) and An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, Section 12 (Of the Academical or (...)
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  • Perceptions and Objects: Hume's Radical Empiricism.Yumiko Inukai - 2011 - Hume Studies 37 (2):189-210.
    In Book One of the Treatise of Human Nature, Hume seems to acknowledge the existence of both internal and external worlds, in which perceptions, objects, and bodies, exist. In particular, Hume seems directly to affirm the existence of extra-mental bodies, when he says at the beginning of the section "Of scepticism with regard to the senses," "We may well ask, What causes induce us to believe in theexistence of body? but 'tis in vain to ask, whether there be body or (...)
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  • Hume’s Two Definitions.Helen Beebee - 2011 - Hume Studies 37 (2):243-274.
    Hume's two definitions of causation have caused an extraordinary amount of controversy. The starting point for the controversy is the fact, well known to most philosophy undergraduates, that the two definitions aren't even extensionally equivalent, let alone semantically equivalent. So how can they both be definitions? One response to this problem has been to argue that Hume intends only the first as a genuine definition—an interpretation that delivers a straightforward regularity interpretation of Hume on causation. By many commentators' lights, however, (...)
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  • From Descartes to Hume Continental Metaphysics and the Development of Modern Philosophy.Louis E. Loeb - 1981 - Cornell University Press, C1981.
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  • Hume’s Scepticism: Natural Instincts and Philosophical Reflection.Barry Stroud - 1991 - Philosophical Topics 19 (1):271-291.
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  • Hume's Enlightenment Tract: The Unity and Purpose of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.Heiner F. Klemme - 2003 - Erkenntnis 58 (1):126-129.
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  • Stability and Justification in Hume’s Treatise.Louis Loeb - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):233-235.
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  • Hume and Thick Connexions.Simon Blackburn - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50:237-250.
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  • The Works of George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne.George Berkeley, T. E. Jessop & A. A. Luce - 1843 - Kraus Reprint.
    The following abbreviations are used to reference Berkeley’s works: PC “Philosophical Commentaries‘ Works 1:9--104 NTV An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision Works 1:171--239 PHK Of the Principles of Human Knowledge: Part 1 Works 2:41--113 3D Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous Works 2:163--263 DM De Motu, or The Principle and Nature of Motion and the Cause of the Communication of Motions, trans. A.A. Luce Works 4:31--52.
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  • Hume's New Science of the Mind.John Biro - 2009 - In David Fate Norton & Jacqueline Anne Taylor (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Cambridge University Press.
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  • Hume's Skepticism.Robert J. Fogelin - 2009 - In David Fate Norton & Jacqueline Anne Taylor (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Cambridge University Press.
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  • Academics Versus Pyrrhonists, Reconsidered.Gisela Striker - 2010 - In Richard Arnot Home Bett (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Scepticism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 195.
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  • Early Modern Experimental Philosophy.Peter R. Anstey & Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell. pp. 87-102.
    In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Early modern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and system-building without recourse to experiment and, in some quarters, developed a (...)
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  • Hume’s Practically Epistemic Conclusions?Hsueh Qu - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):501-524.
    The inoffensive title of Section 1.4.7 of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, ‘Conclusion of this Book’, belies the convoluted treatment of scepticism contained within. It is notoriously difficult to decipher Hume’s considered response to scepticism in this section, or whether he even has one. In recent years, however, one line of interpretation has gained popularity in the literature. The ‘usefulness and agreeableness reading’ (henceforth U&A) interprets Hume as arguing in THN 1.4.7 that our beliefs and/or epistemic policies are justified via (...)
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  • Hume on Mental Transparency.Hsueh Qu - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (4):576-601.
    This article investigates Hume's account of mental transparency. In this article, I will endorse Qualitative Transparency – that is, the thesis that we cannot fail to apprehend the qualitative characters of our current perceptions, and these apprehensions cannot fail to be veridical – on the basis that, unlike its competitors, it is both weak enough to accommodate the introspective mistakes that Hume recognises, and yet strong enough to make sense of his positive employments of mental transparency. Moreover, Qualitative Transparency is (...)
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  • The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Mind 21 (84):556-564.
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  • Hume's Skepticism in the Treatise of Human Nature.Robert J. Fogelin - 1986 - Mind 95 (379):392-396.
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  • A Progress of Sentiments. Reflections on Hume's Treatise.[author unknown] - 1993 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 55 (2):369-369.
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  • Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism.D. C. Stove - 1975 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):85-87.
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  • The New Hume Debate.Rupert Read & Kenneth A. Richman - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (299):125-129.
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  • Hume's Skepticism in the Treatise of Human Nature.Michael Williams & Robert J. Fogelin - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (2):263.
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