Hume’s Epistemology in the Treatise: A Veritistic Interpretation

Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press (2014)
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Frederick F. Schmitt offers a new account of Hume's epistemology in A Treatise of Human Nature, which alternately manifests scepticism, empiricism, and naturalism. Critics have emphasised one of these positions over the others, but Schmitt argues that they can be reconciled by tracing them to an underlying epistemology of knowledge and probability



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Justified Belief

This chapter examines Hume’s vocabulary of justification in the Treatise. Hume repeatedly associates terms of epistemic justification (‘just’, ‘justify’) with veritistic terms (‘true’, ‘errors’). Many instances are listed and discussed. Hume’s association of these terms is most simply expl... see more

The Goal of Philosophy

For Hume philosophy is a goal-directed activity. What, then, is its goal? The evidence from the Introduction to the Treatise and the Conclusions of Books 1 and 3 is that true belief is the chief non-instrumental cognitive goal of philosophy. The text suggests one alternative to true belief... see more


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Author's Profile

Frederick Schmitt
Indiana University, Bloomington

Citations of this work

Knowledge and Sensory Knowledge in Hume's Treatise.Graham Clay - 2021 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 10:195-229.
Snatching Hope from the Jaws of Epistemic Defeat.Robert Pasnau - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (2):257--275.
The Humors in Hume's Skepticism.Charles Goldhaber - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7:789–824.
Hume's Incredible Demonstrations.Graham Clay - 2022 - Hume Studies 47 (1):55-77.
Hume on the Imagination.Fabian Dorsch - 2015 - Rero Doc Digital Library:1-28.

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