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|Title:||Hume on Causation|
|Keywords:||Hume, real connection, physical, causes, effects, ontological, casual necessity, epistemological, objects, priorinaturalistic, psychological|
|Abstract:||In the first chapter of this thesis it is shown that Hume has not denied a "real connection" between physical causes and effects. It is argued that Hume is not mainly concerned with the ontological status of causal necessity. His main contention is epistemological; he aims to explain the grounds we have for asserting causal connections. When we look for the grounds of casual interference we find nothing but constant conjunction, which accounts for the mental determination to pass from an impression to the idea of its usual attendant. But it does not follow from this psychological theory that Hume denies "real connections" between physical objects and events. On the contrary, he is committed, as the texts reveal, to admitting that there is a "real connection", although he denies that we have any insight into the nature of that connection. Chapter two is intended to settle the dispute over the status of Burne's two definitions of "cause". It is shown that thev are not incompatible, and it is only when both the definitions are taken together that Hume's analysis of causation is complete. In chapter three a detailed defence is undertaken of Hume's claim that we do not know causal connections a priori and that the inference from past experience to future prediction is not rationally justifiable. Although predictions of future events can not be rationally defended, Hume does not reject them, but gives them a naturalistic, psychological explanation. By considering all relevant factors it is shown that Hume's analyses of causation are quite consistent and not subjectivist in the sense often attributed to them.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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