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Hume on Belief and Vindicatory Explanations

Smith, Benedict

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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.


Smith, B. (2019). Hume on Belief and Vindicatory Explanations. Philosophy, 94(2), 313-337.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 11, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 25, 2019
Publication Date Apr 30, 2019
Deposit Date Feb 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2019
Journal Philosophy
Print ISSN 0031-8191
Electronic ISSN 1469-817X
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue 2
Pages 313-337


Accepted Journal Article (875 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been published in a revised form in Philosophy All author information hidden<br /> 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. &copy; The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2019.

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