The Errors of Hume


In fact, when Hume’s various philosophical errors are exposed — the assumptions inherited from bad theology, the conflation of intellect and imagination, the self-undermining character of Hume’s Fork, and so forth — little is left in the way of actual argumentation to support the anti-metaphysical and anti-theological conclusions for which he is famous.  His bloated reputation notwithstanding, Hume is exactly what Anscombe said he is: a “mere — brilliant — sophist.”

Why that reputation is as bloated as it is, everyone knows:  Skeptics simply like Hume’s conclusions, and don’t care to investigate too carefully how plausible, at the end of the day, are the arguments by which he arrived at them.  F. H. Bradley, though a metaphysician himself, famously characterized metaphysics as “the finding of bad reasons for what we believe on instinct.”  Never was it more obvious than in the case of Hume and his fans how true this can be of opponents of metaphysics.


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