Naturalism and Scepticism

Philosophy 65 (254):399 - 418 (1990)


In this paper we argue that a dominant view of Humean naturalism involves a fundamental misconception of Hume's naturalist project. We shall show that the naturalist project as Hume conceives it is philosophically much more interesting than the form of naturalism commonly attributed to him. We shall also argue, however, that Hume's commitment to principles of empiricist epistemology prevented him from bringing his naturalist project to a satisfactory conclusion. Finally, we shall suggest that Wittgenstein shares Hume's conception of a philosophically satisfactory form of naturalism, and that, unencumbered by empiricist doctrines, Wittgenstein was able to provide the sort of undogmatic unravelling of the sceptical problem that eluded Hume

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Marie McGinn
University of York

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Citations of this work

Hume’s Extreme Skepticism in Treatise I IV 7.Ira Singer - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):595-622.
Naturalism, Experience, and Hume’s ‘Science of Human Nature’.Benedict Smith - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (3):310-323.

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