Wright (2012)

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Wright, John. (2012) Scepticism, Causal Science, and 'The Old Hume'. The Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2), 123-142.

Title Scepticism, Causal Science, and 'The Old Hume'
Resource Type journal article
Author(s) John Wright
Year 2012
Journal The Journal of Scottish Philosophy
Volume 10
Number 2
Pages 123-142


This paper replies to Peter Millican (Mind, 2009), who argues that Hume denies the possible existence of causal powers which underlie the regularities that we observe in nature. I argue that Hume’s own philosophical views on causal power cannot be considered apart from his mitigated skepticism. His account of the origin of the idea of causal power, which traces it to a subjective impression, only leads to what he calls ‘Pyrrhonian scepticism’. He holds that we can only escape such excessive skepticism by way of a natural judgment based on the association of ideas, which forms the basis of what he calls ‘a legitimate ground of Assent’.