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Philosophical Interpretations$
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Robert J. Fogelin

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195071627

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019507162X.001.0001

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The Tendency of Hume's Skepticism

The Tendency of Hume's Skepticism

(p.114) 8 The Tendency of Hume's Skepticism
Philosophical Interpretations

Robert J. Fogelin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This essay provides a survey of the central role of various radically skeptical arguments in David Hume's philosophy. The discussion relies upon a distinction between theoretical skepticism and prescriptive skepticism. A theoretical skepticism calls into question the grounds or the warrant for some important class of beliefs, e.g., our inductive beliefs about the future and our beliefs about the external world. A prescriptive skepticism recommends the suspension of belief for some class of beliefs. This essay is an attempt to show that Hume was an unmitigated theoretical skeptic over a wide range of areas, but for the most part he was a moderate or mitigated prescriptive skeptic.

Keywords:   external world, Hume, inductive skepticism, prescriptive skepticism, skepticism, theoretical skepticism

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