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Efficient CausationA History$
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Tad M. Schmaltz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199782185

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782185.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2022

Efficient Causation in Hume

Efficient Causation in Hume

Chapter:
(p.231) Chapter Eight Efficient Causation in Hume
Source:
Efficient Causation
Author(s):

P. J. E. Kail

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199782185.003.0012

There is considerable scholarly division regarding the fundamentals of Hume’s account of efficient causation. The majority opinion reads him as offering an austere metaphysics wherein efficient causation consists in regularities of a certain kind, whereas a minority read Hume as circumscribing severely what we can understand of the causal relation. Without deciding this issue, this chapter draws attention to the fact that on either reading Hume’s view starkly contrasts with the metaphysically rich discussions that preceded A Treatise of Human Nature. There is an investigation here of the grounds for Hume’s radical break from his predecessors. These grounds are located not in a simple application of meaning-empiricism, but instead in a “subject-naturalism” that focuses on the explanation of the nature of our causal inference in order to illuminate what we understand by causation. The chapter closes with a discussion of Thomas Reid’s reaction to Hume.

Keywords:   causal inference, efficient causation, Hume, naturalism, Reid, Treatise of Human Nature

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