Joshua M. Wood
Boston University
I examine Hume’s ‘construal of the basic structure of human agency’ and his ‘analysis of human agency’ as they arise in his investigation of causal power. Hume’s construal holds both that volition is separable from action and that the causal mechanism of voluntary action is incomprehensible. Hume’s analysis argues, on the basis of these two claims, that we cannot draw the concept of causal power from human agency. Some commentators suggest that Hume’s construal of human agency is untenable, unduly skeptical, or uniquely entailed by the limits of empiricism. However, as I argue, these criticisms depend either on a misunderstanding of Hume’s analysis of human agency or on a neglect of the historical context of his view.
Keywords Hume  causation  agency  will  volition  action  Glanvill  Malebranche
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2014.0013
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References found in this work BETA

Hume and Thick Connexions.Simon Blackburn - 1990 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50:237-250.
Agency and Alienation.Jennifer Hornsby - 2008 - In M. de Caro & D. MacArthur (eds.), Naturalism In Question. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Press. pp. 173-87.

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Citations of this work BETA

Hume and the Phenomenology of Agency.Joshua M. Wood - 2014 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 44 (3-4):496-517.
Active Powers of the Human Mind.Ruth Boeker - forthcoming - In Scottish Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, vol. 2. Oxford:
On Effort and Causal Power: Maine de Biran’s Critique of Hume Revisited.Mark Sinclair - 2020 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 28 (5):903-922.

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