Synthese 199 (3-4):7131-7157 (2021)

Authors
Hsueh Qu
National University of Singapore
Abstract
This paper will make the case that we can find in Kant’s Second Analogy a substantive response to Hume’s argument on induction. This response is substantive insofar as it does not merely consist in independently arguing for the opposite conclusion, but rather, it identifies and exploits a gap in this argument. More specifically, Hume misses the possibility of justifying the uniformity of nature as a synthetic a priori proposition, which Kant looks to establish in the Second Analogy. Note that the focus on the paper is on Kant’s identification of the form that a solution to Hume’s inductive scepticism must take. In making this point, my paper will look to establish two lemmas: Kant identifies synthetic a priori judgments as a means of justifying metaphysical knowledge in a way that circumvents Hume’s dichotomy between matters of fact and relations of ideas; the Second Analogy looks to establish the uniformity of nature of as a synthetic a priori proposition. However, my paper generally abstains from the question of the tenability of Kant’s argument in the Second Analogy. Doing justice to this latter discussion would require more space than I am able to offer here. My paper therefore has a conditional bearing on the philosophical issue of inductive scepticism. If one believes Kant’s Second Analogy to be philosophically cogent, then Kant offers a successful justification of induction against Hume’s scepticism. If not, then at least one can still admire Kant’s identification of the gap in Hume’s argument, which, to a degree, can be exploited independently of Kant’s system.
Keywords Hume  Kant  Induction  A priori  Analytic
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03107-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Problems of Philosophy.Bertrand Russell - 1912 - Home University Library.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.David Hume - 1955 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press. pp. 112.

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