Hume's True Scepticism
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2016.08.33 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews
Donald C. Ainslie, Hume's True Scepticism, Oxford University Press, 2015, 286pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199593866.
Reviewed by Frederick F. Schmitt, Indiana University
This highly original, beautifully crafted book proposes an interpretation of Hume's treatment of skepticism in Part 4 of Book 1 of A Treatise of Human Nature. There have long been competing interpretations of Hume on skepticism -- skeptical, epistemological naturalist, and dialectical interpretations. Donald C. Ainslie offers an alternative "philosophical" interpretation, according to which the doubts that Hume displays about reason and the belief in body in Part 4 of Book 1 are meant to cast doubt, not on everyday beliefs about causes or bodies (as the skeptical interpretation holds), but on philosophical reflection itself. Philosophical reflection interferes with the operation of our natural propensities, giving rise to doubts that philosophical reflection itself cannot answer. At the same time, this phenomenon of "reflective interference" (p....
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