Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.636281
Title: Hume's mitigated scepticism
Author: Comer, M. A.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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Abstract:
The central theme of this thesis, as its title suggests, deals with the ambit of Hume's scepticism. I argue against the traditional view of Hume as an extreme or Pyrrhonian sceptic and suggest that any extreme sceptical elements in his thought are set off by his naturalism. In other words, the mitigated scepticism which I attribute to Hume is a position which involves the claim that none of our fundamental beliefs have a rational foundation, but instead are the product of the instinctive and passionate sides of our natures. As well as attributing a scepticism with regard to the powers of reason to Hume, I also suggest that Hume is a sceptic in so far as he puts forward the thesis that there are aspects of the world which cannot be grasped by human understanding. Thus the ultimate nature of the external world, causality and, paradoxically, the self cannot be grasped by the human mind. At bottom, I argue that, Hume's mitigated scepticism can be described as an explanation of how, despite the limits of the human mind, we are, nonetheless, able to form all sorts of non sceptical, sophisticated beliefs about the world and ourselves.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.636281  DOI: Not available
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