David Hume's Mitigated Skepticism
Keywords:Skepticism, Mitigated Skepticism, Descartes, Hume, Sextus, Pyrrhonism, Knowledge
In this paper, I would like to explore David Hume's skepticism. Hume appears to be quite different from both Descartes and Sextus Empericus. He carries a distinct philosophical identity. Descartes used his Skepticism, not for its own sake but for transcending it. Cartesian Skepticism gave birth to certainty. For Descartes Skepticism is not a doctrine but only a method. So he was clearly against Sextus. Hume was quite different. At places, it appears that Hume was not a universal doubter like Sextus, not even like Descartes. One would feel that Hume was not skeptical about knowledge as such, like Sextus. He was skeptical only about some areas of knowledge. He rejected some knowledge claims without rejecting all of them. Hume's skepticism is mitigated skepticism.
Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, London,
Hume, The Treatise of Human Nature, Oxford University Press, London, 1978.
John Laird, Hume’s Philosophy of Human Nature, London, 1983.
Richard H.Popkin, David Hume: His Pyrrhonism and His Critique of Pyrrhonism, From Hume A Collection
of Critical Essays, ed. By V.C. Chappel, Anchor Books Edition, New York, 1966.
Christopher Hookway, Skepticism, Routledge,1992.
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