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Skeptical Influences on Hume's View of Animal Reasoning

Skeptical Influences on Hume's View of Animal Reasoning <p>Abstract:</p><p>Hume directly addresses animal reasoning and concludes that human causal reasoning must be similar to what he has identified in non-human animals. It would be easy to attribute influence on this issue to skeptical thinkers who influenced other parts of Hume&apos;s philosophy and also addressed non-human animal reasoning, that is, Bayle, Montaigne, and/or Sextus Empiricus. I argue that such claims of direct influence are improbable. First, Hume establishes conclusions about human reasoning on the basis of examining animals; the skeptics establish conclusions about animal reasoning on the basis of their similarities to humans. Second, Hume&apos;s conclusions in these sections differ in scope and function from those of these skeptics. Finally, Hume&apos;s evidence differs markedly from these skeptics&apos;. Hume and these skeptics do make use of the same kind of comparison between humans and animals, but that comparison is also found in other Modern thinkers that Hume read: I show that it is present in Hobbes and Locke.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hume Studies Hume Society

Skeptical Influences on Hume&apos;s View of Animal Reasoning

Hume Studies , Volume 42 (1) – Dec 7, 2019

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Publisher
Hume Society
Copyright
Copyright © Hume Studies
ISSN
1947-9921

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>Hume directly addresses animal reasoning and concludes that human causal reasoning must be similar to what he has identified in non-human animals. It would be easy to attribute influence on this issue to skeptical thinkers who influenced other parts of Hume&apos;s philosophy and also addressed non-human animal reasoning, that is, Bayle, Montaigne, and/or Sextus Empiricus. I argue that such claims of direct influence are improbable. First, Hume establishes conclusions about human reasoning on the basis of examining animals; the skeptics establish conclusions about animal reasoning on the basis of their similarities to humans. Second, Hume&apos;s conclusions in these sections differ in scope and function from those of these skeptics. Finally, Hume&apos;s evidence differs markedly from these skeptics&apos;. Hume and these skeptics do make use of the same kind of comparison between humans and animals, but that comparison is also found in other Modern thinkers that Hume read: I show that it is present in Hobbes and Locke.</p>

Journal

Hume StudiesHume Society

Published: Dec 7, 2019

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