The Concealed Influence of Custom: Hume’s Treatise from the Inside Out by Jay L. Garfield [Book Review]

Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (3):511-513 (2022)
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Abstract

One of the interpretive principles Jay Garfield follows in this book is the “cover principle”: “If you are unsure about what Hume is doing, close the book and read the cover”. The principle did not help when I was unsure about what Garfield was doing. The book starts with too many and incompatible goals. Garfield claims that book 2 of Hume’s Treatise is foundational to the entire Treatise and that “by taking Book II as foundational, we come to a reading that reconciles Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism, and that the key to this reconciliation is his communitarianism”. But Garfield also insists that we should read the Treatise “as an early text in cognitive science”. He also maintains that Hume...

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Miren Boehm
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

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