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Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2$
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Jonathan Bennett

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198250920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198250924.001.0001

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Hume on Causation, Positively

Hume on Causation, Positively

(p.268) Chapter 36 Hume on Causation, Positively
Learning from Six Philosophers Volume 2

Jonathan Bennett

Oxford University Press

Hume's best account of causation says that when we make causal judgements, we express our inclination to conduct a certain inference, and that we are caused to have this inclination by patterns in our past experience. The account becomes untenable, and even absurd, when Hume tries to supply an impression from which an idea of necessity might be copied, and fixes on our feeling (impression) of being compelled to have a certain expectation. Discussion of the view that Hume was a realist about causal necessity, and merely held that we cannot have any knowledge of it is also expressed.

Keywords:   causation, Hume, idea, impression, necessity, realism

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