Authors
Hsueh Qu
National University of Singapore
Abstract
Commentators such as Kemp Smith (1941), Mendelbaum (1974), and Bricke (1980) have taken the distinctions of reason to pose either a counterexample to or a limitation of scope on the Separability Principle. This has been convincingly addressed by various accounts such as Garrett (1997), Hoffman (2011), and Baxter (2011). However, I argue in this paper that there are two notions of ‘distinction of reason’, one between particular instantiations (token distinctions of reason) and one between general ideas (type distinctions of reason). Discussion of the distinctions of reason in the secondary literature has without fail focused on token distinctions of reason, but I will argue that type distinctions of reason prove problematic for Hume’s Separability Principle. I find a way around this problem that is consonant with Hume’s account of general ideas, but which can hardly be said to be an account which he explicitly or even implicitly endorsed.
Keywords Hume  Metaphysics  Separability  Modality  Properties  Concepts
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Reprint years 2019, 2020
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DOI 10.1080/09608788.2019.1591937
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Cognition and Commitment in Hume’s Philosophy.Don Garrett - 1997 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):191-196.

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