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Hume's Skeptical CrisisA Textual Study$
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Robert J. Fogelin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195387391

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387391.001.0001

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Introduction The Interpretive Problem

Introduction The Interpretive Problem

(p.3) Introduction The Interpretive Problem
Hume's Skeptical Crisis

Robert J. Fogelin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter spells out the fundamental goal of the book: to make sense out of the radical change in perspective from a buoyant confidence at the start of book 1 of the Treatise to a serious case of skeptical jitters at the close of book 1. The leading idea is that the perspective Hume adopts is a function of the level of inquiry he is engaged in at various stages of his investigations. Not one, but four perspectives (or voices) are found in the Treatise: the confident projector of a science of human nature, an abject skeptic, the voice of the vulgar, and finally a mitigated skeptic. The last standpoint is the product of the interaction of the vulgar standpoint with radical or Pyrrhonian doubt.

Keywords:   confident naturalist, mitigated skepticism, perspectives, voices, Pyrrhonian skeptic, vulgar instinctive belief

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