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Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism$
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D.C. Stove

Print publication date: 1973

Print ISBN-13: 9780198245018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198245018.001.0001

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Its Suppressed Premisses

Its Suppressed Premisses

(p.46) 3 Its Suppressed Premisses
Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism


Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the suppressed premisses of David Hume's argument for inductive scepticism. If there is anything about this argument of Hume which is more admirable than its content, it is the explicitness of it. For the conclusion (j), then, Hume's argument has just three premisses: the two premisses he states, (e) and (f), and the unstated one just mentioned. The whole proposition stated reduces to this: that all predictive-inductive inferences are invalid, and that all the inferences, which result from supplementing the premisses of a predictive-inductive inference by further observational premisses, are also invalid. The essence of Hume's argument is explained. Hume's argument in stage 2 may be summed up in the following way: from premisses which prove at most the invalidity of predictive-inductive inferences, along with the unstated premiss that an inference is unreasonable if it is invalid, Hume concluded that predictive-inductive inferences are unreasonable.

Keywords:   David Hume, Hume's argument, suppressed premisses, inductive scepticism, predictive-inductive inferences

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