In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

484 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 2~:4 OCT 1984 the influence of French writers on language is crucial. Hume was familiar with the prominent theories of language of his time, but did not construct a theory of his own and did not have the contemporary philosopher's interest in language as the central problem of philosophy. For Hume, language is a bond constitutive of human society. The misuse of language threatens those bonds, and so is morally irresponsible. Chapter Five discusses Hume's conception of the nature and goal of philosophy. Jones discusses the parallels (and differences) between Wittgenstein's later views on philosophy and the limits of skepticism and Hume's reconstruction of the Ciceronian conception of philosophy and skepticism. The parallels are striking, and Jones's treatment is insightful. There are riches in a Ciceronian-Humean reading of the later Wittgenstein that are waiting to be explored by one having the right eye. Jones did not carry out such an exploration, nor did he intend to, but he has provided us with the eye to do so. The Ciceronian-humanistic outlook in which philosophy, rhetoric, and virtue are internally connected has virtually disappeared from the philosophical scene. Jones has provided a valuable service in recalling it, not only as a condition for understanding Hume but also as marking out a viewpoint from which we may take a fresh and critical look at our own philosophical practice, something that Alasdair MacIntyre has recently argued for in After Virtue. DONALD LIVINGSTON Emory University Marcello Pera. Hume, Kant e l'induzione. Bologna: II Mulino, 1982. Pp. 220. L. i5,ooo, paper. This well-documented and clearly written book belongs to that genre of philosophical writing which exemplifies the fruitful reciprocal interaction between contemporary analytical distinctions and close textual examination of past philosophers. That is, it distinguishes among the problems of causality, of the uniformity of nature, and of inductive inference, and among ontological, logical, and methodological aspects of these problems, in order to understand better what problem or problems Hume actually formulated which awakened Kant from his dogmatic slumber, what problem (s) Kant thought Hume to have formulated, what solution or solutions Kant gave to which problems, where exactly such solution(s) can be found, and how correct his answers are. The author tends to side with Kant vis-~t-vis both Hume and contemporary Humean critics of Kant, in the sense that he argues that, when correctly interpreted , his transcendental justifications of the causal principle and of the uniformity of nature are still valid today; as for the justification of specific inductive inferences, he admits that Kant did not prove their validity, but he thinks that this is no shortcoming , since there is nothing to prove, or to be more exact, it is the very nature of inductive reasoning that it cannot be deductively valid. In the course of elaborating this central theme, the author deals competently with a number of issues of which the following are the most noteworthy. There is a brief BOOK REVIEWS 485 account of Hume's and of Kant's views of philosophical inquiry and of their similarity, and a longer discussion suggesting that for both of them scientific procedure is essentially inductive. We also find a discussion of Carnap's and of Reichenbach's systems of inductive logic, having the function of strengthening Pera's claim that Kant's transcendental justification of the uniformity of nature is essentially correct, but that this does not imply any (deductivist) validation of inductive inferences. The book has an appendix on the Humean and the Kantian views of mathematics, in which Pera articulates the surprising interpretation that for Hume too mathematical propositions are not analytic but have the status of "synthetic a priori" judgments, to use Kant's terminology . The second appendix discusses the causal theory of time in Kant. The book's most intriguing sections are perhaps those where it reconstructs Kant's justifications of the causal and of the uniformity principles. As I understand Pera, the causal argument reduces to the following essentials (1o8-1o): the perception of an event implies the perception of two successive states of affairs; if the perception of succession...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 484-485
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.