Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Walking the Tightrope of ReasonThe Precarious Life of a Rational Animal$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Robert Fogelin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177541.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 June 2020

Last Words

Last Words

(p.163) Chapter Seven Last Words
Walking the Tightrope of Reason

Robert Fogelin

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows that for Hume, contexts in which radically skeptical doubts emerge and contexts in which our beliefs are generated by natural instincts are not discrete, isolated domains. Each influences the other. Without the powerful force of natural belief, nothing can stop reason's inevitable slide into forlorn skepticism. Without the humbling force of skeptical doubts, nothing prevents our thoughts from going beyond their natural limits into the land of illusions. It is only through the pursuit of abstruse philosophy that we can gain a proper understanding of our cognitive limitations, an understanding that will allow us, in Hume's words, “to live at ease ever after.”

Keywords:   Hume, skepticism, doubt

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .