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Hume's Abject Failure – The Argument Against Miracles - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Hume's Abject Failure: The Argument Against Miracles

John Earman


Hume's famous essay on miracles is set in the context of the larger debate that was taking place in the eighteenth century about the nature of miracles and the ability of eyewitness testimony to establish the credibility of such events. The author contents that Hume's argument against miracles is largely unoriginal and chiefly without merit where it is original. To advance the issues so provocatively posed by Hume's essay requires the tools of the probability calculus being developed by Hume's contemporaries but largely ignored by Hume.

Keywords: Bayes, eyewitness testimony, Hume, miracles, probability

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780195127386
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195127382.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

John Earman, author
University of Pittsburgh
Author Webpage

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Part I Hume on Miracles

Part II The Documents

End Matter