Humes Reason

Paperback | April 1, 2002

byDavid Owen

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David Owen explores Hume's account of reason and its role in human understanding, seen in the context of other notable accounts by philosophers of the early modern period. Many of the most famous problems that Hume discusses, and many of the positions that he advocates, are expressed in termsof reason. It is central to his arguments about induction, belief, scepticism, the passions, and moral distinctions; to understand Hume's influential views on these matters, we must understand what his view of reason is.The book begins with chapters on the theories of reasoning put forward by Hume's notable predecessors Descartes and Locke. Owen shows that Hume followed them in rejecting a formal, deductive account of inference, in favour of a new naturalistic account. But he went farther, in what we now call theargument concerning induction, by showing that no account of reason as a separate faculty could explain our inferences to beliefs in the unobserved. Hume offers instead an associationist account of probable reasoning and a new theory of belief. The picture of reason as an independent faculty isreplaced with an explanation of reasoning in terms of properties of the imagination.Hume's Reason offers a new interpretation of some of Hume's central ideas, and a treatment of reason which will be illuminating not just to historians of modern philosophy but to all philosophers who are concerned with the workings of human cognition.

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David Owen explores Hume's account of reason and its role in human understanding, seen in the context of other notable accounts by philosophers of the early modern period. Many of the most famous problems that Hume discusses, and many of the positions that he advocates, are expressed in termsof reason. It is central to his arguments ab...

David Owen is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Arizona. He taught previously at Oxford and Columbia Universities.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:242 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:April 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199252602

ISBN - 13:9780199252602

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Descartes's New Theory of Reasoning3. Locke on Reasoning4. Hume and Ideas: Relations and Associations5. Intuition, Certainty, and Demonstrative Reasoning6. Probable Reasoning: The Negative Argument7. Belief and the Development of Hume's Account of Probable Reasoning8. Reason, Belief, and Scepticism9. The Limits and Warrant of ReasonReferences, Index

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition This is very well-trodden ground, but Owen succeeds in casting new light... Hume's Reason is proof of the value of careful elaboration.'James Harris, TLS