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Hume on belief and vindicatory explanations.

Smith, Benedict (2019) 'Hume on belief and vindicatory explanations.', Philosophy., 94 (2). pp. 313-337.


Hume's account of belief is understood to be inspired by allegedly incompatible motivations, one descriptive and expressing Hume's naturalism, the other normative and expressing Hume's epistemological aims. This understanding assumes a particular way in which these elements are distinct: an assumption that I dispute. I suggest that the explanatory-naturalistic aspects of Hume's account of belief are not incompatible with the normative-epistemological aspects. Rather, at least for some central cases of belief formation that Hume discusses at length, S's coming to believe that p can be explained in a way that vindicates S's belief that p.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This article has been published in a revised form in Philosophy All author information hidden This version is free to view and download for private research and study only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2019.
Date accepted:11 January 2019
Date deposited:06 February 2019
Date of first online publication:25 April 2019
Date first made open access:06 February 2019

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