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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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Our Historical Debts to Hume's Argument for Scepticism

Our Historical Debts to Hume's Argument for Scepticism

(p.98) 8 Our Historical Debts to Hume's Argument for Scepticism
Probability and Hume's Inductive Scepticism


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the historical debts to Hume's argument for scepticism. It shows the great importance of what has historically been learnt from Hume's argument. The 20th-century inductive fallibilism is first introduced. It then considers the 20th-century theory of logical probability. Inductive fallibilism is so far from being a truth which everyone knows, that it is a truth which, at the ‘organic’ level, no one knows. Deductivism is not an idiosyncratic high re-definition of ‘reasonable inference’. It is a logico-philosophical thesis; and one of long, wide, and deep currency, at least among philosophers; which is still the unstated assumption behind much assessment of the conclusiveness of inferences, both by philosophers and by others; and which to this day has been expressly denied by almost no philosopher.

Keywords:   Hume's argument, scepticism, inductive fallibilism, deductivism, historical debts, inferences

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