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

Hume Studies Volume 30, Number 2, November 2004, pp. 339-404 A Symposium on Louis E. Loeb, Stability and Justification in Hume's Treatise Stability and Justification in Hume's Treatise, Another Look— A Response to Erin Kelly, Frederick Schmitt, and Michael Williams LOUIS E. LOEB The symposiasts press from a number of directions.1 Erin Kelly contends that Hume's stability-based sentimentalist ethics cannot do justice to our considered normative moral judgements. Schmitt and Williams criticize my account of Hume's epistemology proper. I will have to give ground: my book does overstate the extent to which Hume reaches a destructive result, in large part because I overlook significant variants of a stability account of justification. I make other concessions—in regard to the country gentlemen passage and Hume's 1.3.9 treatment of resemblance—but believe these have limited repercussions. Let me take note of some large-scale features of the debate with Schmitt and Williams about Hume's theory of justification. We share a number of fundamental theses: • Hume has a sustained, constructive project of drawing normative epistemological distinctions in terms of a purely "naturalistic" theory of justification. • The constructive project is well in place in 1.3. There is a corollary: 1.3 is not confined to cognitive psychology. Louis E. Loeb is Professor of Philosophy, University of Michigan, 435 South State Street, Ann Arbor, MI48109-1003, USA. e-mail: lloeb@umich.edu 340 Louis E. Loeb • Causal inference enj oys epistemic pride of place within the constructive project. Another corollary: in part 3, there is an argument against "Reason" as traditionally conceived, but no "problem of induction" beyond that. • Hume's basis for his epistemological distinctions cannot be derived from such notions as irresistibility or involuntariness; the resources of the Kemp Smith tradition of interpretation are too thin to account for Hume's normative epistemology, • Any skepticism in the Treatise (apart from the attack on Reason) arises within the naturalistic epistemology itself. Some of these shared claims go against the grain of major lines of interpretation. At the same time, there are deep disagreements: about whether there is so much as a destructive turn in 1.4.7 and about the character of Hume's constructive epistemological position. Schmitt urges that the stability reading cannot account for the veritistic elements in Hume's texts, suggesting that they better fit a reliabilist interpretation. Williams is on board with a stability interpretation, but insists that Hume's concern is long-term consensus rather than stability for the individual. This response is divided as follows: I. Reply to Kelly 1. Stability, Reflective Endorsement, and the Motivation for the Steady Point of View 2. The Narrow Circle, Invisibles, and Partiality 3. Information, Sympathetic Templates, and Stigmatized Groups 4. Common Morality and Roles for Reflection II. Reply to Schmitt 1. The Stability Account of Belief and the Aim of Truth *2. Actual versus Reflective Stability *3. Peak Stability versus Average or Temporal Stability 4. Metaphysical Beliefs and the Identity Propensity *III. Hume's Mix of Stability and Truth IV. Reply to Williams *1. The Two-stage Model 2. "External World Scepticism" *3. Treatise 1.4.7 *4. Long-term Consensus Part 3 of my reply to Schmitt incorporates his fruitful options for a stability interpretation and thus repairs shortcomings in my reading. The resulting revisions are pivotal to parts 1 and 4 of my reply to Williams. Part 3 takes up broad matters of interpretation germane to both Schmitt and Williams.2 The asterisked material Hume Studies Stability and Justification, Another Look 341 constitutes an abbreviated route through the discussion of Hume's epistemology and metaphysics. I. Reply to Kelly 1. Stability, Reflective Endorsement, and the Motivation for the Steady Point of View Kelly reminds us that sentimentalist moral theories are at risk of licensing moral judgments that we would reject as resulting from "distortions, " failures to give all persons "full sympathetic attention" (Kelly 329,335). First, there are "outsiders" (Kelly 334, 335); we care more for persons inside our group or groups (Kelly 329), generating garden variety cases of partiality. Second, there are outsiders whom we regard with "a sense of their unfamiliarity" or "difference," lowering or...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1947-9921
Print ISSN
0319-7336
Pages
pp. 339-404
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-26
Open Access
No
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.