Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Walter Ott

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199570430

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570430.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 September 2020

The Definition of Causation

The Definition of Causation

(p.238) 27 The Definition of Causation
Causation and Laws of Nature in Early Modern Philosophy

Walter Ott (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Hume offers two definitions of causation. These are neither cointensive nor coextensive. This chapter surveys some attempts to reconcile them before dissolving the problem altogether. Since causation is both a philosophical and a natural relation, it has a dual nature; it is, in other words, systematically ambiguous. This is not a fault in Hume's view but a vital element in its plausibility. The chapter goes on to ask whether Hume is a subjectivist or a projectivist about causation: does he think that all causal claims merely report our own reactions, or does he think that we are mistakenly projecting causal connections onto the world? There is no coherent way to conceive of causation as characterizing mind‐independent entities; but neither is there any reason to think that the subjectivity of causal claims robs them of their truth‐evaluable status. Although many of Hume's weapons were forged by his intellectual progenitors — the theory of relations, the argument from nonsense, and the “no necessary connection” argument, most importantly — Hume recasts them, and turns them against their realist inventors.

Keywords:   definitions, subjectivism, projectivism, Malebranche, Hume

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .