In the Enquiry, Hume’s discussion of causality figures heavily in his critique of the rationalists. But what exactly do his two “definitions” of causality mean? The author addresses competing questions that arise from Hume’s ambiguity, but one thing is paramount here: both definitions imply a subject’s experience of causality. Following this, the author ponders the uniqueness of cumulative experience and personal belief, later connecting these to Simon Blackburn’s account of the organization of ideas that lead us to think in causal terms. In conclusion, since Hume’s empiricism is metaphysically subjective, Blackburn’s anti-realist interpretation is to be preferred over either positivist or skeptical realist understandings of Hume.

Included in

Philosophy Commons


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.