Hume's Reason (Hardback)
  • Hume's Reason (Hardback)
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Hume's Reason (Hardback)

(author)
£125.00
Hardback 324 Pages / Published: 02/12/1999
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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 terms of 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 the argument 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 is replaced 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.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198238317
Number of pages: 324
Weight: 448 g
Dimensions: 224 x 146 x 17 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
David Owen has written an excellent book ... The attentive reader will not fail to profit from Owen's meticulous and sensitive handling of Hume's challenging but notoriously difficult arguments ... a model of historically-literate, careful (and carefully charitable) examination of a complex and demanding text. * Australasian Journal of Philosophy *
Owen's account offers a key that promises to unlock many aspects of Hume's philosophy in both the Treatise and the first Enquiry. The book is recommended for providing new motivation to re-read Hume with a new set of questions and a new appreciation of Hume's empiricism. * Dale Jacquette, British Journal for the History of Philosophy *
Owen offers valuable insights ... Lucid presentation ... controversial view. * Dale Jacquette, British Journal for the History of Philosophy *

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