Download A Defense of Hume on Miracles (Princeton Monographs in by Robert J. Fogelin PDF

By Robert J. Fogelin

Seeing that its ebook within the mid-eighteenth century, Hume's dialogue of miracles has been the objective of critical and infrequently ill-tempered assaults. during this booklet, one in all our top historians of philosophy deals a scientific reaction to those attacks.

Arguing that those criticisms have--from the very start--rested on misreadings, Robert Fogelin starts by means of offering a story of ways Hume's argument really unfolds. What Hume's critics (and even a few of his defenders) have didn't see is that Hume's basic argument relies on solving the correct criteria of comparing testimony offered on behalf of a miracle. Given the definition of a miracle, Hume particularly kind of argues that the factors for comparing such testimony needs to be tremendous excessive. Hume then argues that, in truth, no testimony on behalf of a non secular miracle has even come with reference to assembly the best criteria for reputation. Fogelin illustrates that Hume's critics have regularly misunderstood the constitution of this argument--and have saddled Hume with completely lousy arguments now not present in the textual content. He responds first to a couple early critics of Hume's argument after which to 2 contemporary critics, David Johnson and John Earman. Fogelin's aim, although, isn't to "bash the bashers," yet quite to teach that Hume's therapy of miracles has a coherence, intensity, and gear that makes it nonetheless the easiest paintings at the topic.

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A Defense of Hume on Miracles (Princeton Monographs in Philosophy)

Considering the fact that its booklet within the mid-eighteenth century, Hume's dialogue of miracles has been the objective of serious and sometimes ill-tempered assaults. during this e-book, one among our best historians of philosophy bargains a scientific reaction to those attacks.

Arguing that those criticisms have--from the very start--rested on misreadings, Robert Fogelin starts via supplying a story of ways Hume's argument really unfolds. What Hume's critics (and even a few of his defenders) have didn't see is that Hume's basic argument depends upon solving the perfect criteria of comparing testimony provided on behalf of a miracle. Given the definition of a miracle, Hume relatively quite argues that the criteria for comparing such testimony has to be super excessive. Hume then argues that, in general, no testimony on behalf of a spiritual miracle has even come with reference to assembly the fitting criteria for popularity. Fogelin illustrates that Hume's critics have regularly misunderstood the constitution of this argument--and have saddled Hume with completely lousy arguments no longer present in the textual content. He responds first to a few early critics of Hume's argument after which to 2 contemporary critics, David Johnson and John Earman. Fogelin's target, despite the fact that, isn't to "bash the bashers," yet fairly to teach that Hume's remedy of miracles has a coherence, intensity, and gear that makes it nonetheless the easiest paintings at the topic.

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Extra resources for A Defense of Hume on Miracles (Princeton Monographs in Philosophy)

Sample text

No miracles ever occur. Because this argument cites no empirical evidence, we can call it the a priori argument against the possibility of miracles—or just the a priori argument for short. 8 I now think that this reading of the text is wholly mistaken. A number of considerations should put this beyond doubt. It is not inconsequential that Hume nowhere explicitly formulates this argument, but some might think that he is so transparently committed to it that it is inconceivable that it does not play a guiding role in his thought.

Hume, I have suggested, assumes that . . we have against the miracle a proof, so that in particular we have a known inductive premiss, describing “a uniform experience,” to the effect that all hitherto As are Bs. But the question of whether we know so general an inductive premiss is essentially the same as the question of whether we know that the A observed by the witness was a B, or (as the witness claims) not a B. , 18) This, however, simply misrepresents the situation. We are not dealing with a clash of experience against experience.

He is T H E S T R U C T U R E O F H U M E ' S A R G U M E N T 19 not missing the point by defining “miracle” in such a way that any event that actually occurs or is observed, no matter how bizarre, would fail to be a miracle. ” As we shall see in examining the further development of Hume’s argument as it unfolds in part 2, Hume’s aim is not to achieve this shallow verbal victory—if it is a victory. Is Hume’s argument either circular or question-begging? 9 One of his eighteenth-century critics, William Samuel Powell, made this charge succinctly: But nature, we are told, is uniform and unvaried in her operations.

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