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The belief in the external world and the mitigated scepticism in Hume

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Laila Thaís Correa e Silva
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Campinas, SP.
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas
Defense date:
Examining board members:
José Oscar de Almeida Marques; Plinio Smith; Silvio Seno Chibeni
Advisor: José Oscar de Almeida Marques

David Hume, in the Treatise of Human Nature, book 1, part 4, section 2, "Of scepticism with regard to the senses", wants to explain the cause of our belief in the existence of external world, i.e., the belief in existence continued and distinct of the mind and perception. He begins the section with the following affirmation: we might give our assentiment to the principle regarding the existence of external world, even though we cannot pretend to sustain its veracity through philosophical arguments (T But, at the end of section, Hume's position as regards of the belief of external world changes completely, as Hume says, in T "I begun this subject with premising, that we ought to have an implicit faith in our senses, and that this wou'd be the conclusion, I shou'd draw from the whole of my reasoning", however, he says, "I feel myself at present of quite contrary sentiment", i.e., Hume didn't deposit any more trust in the senses, or first, imagination. Why Hume concluded that? Hume says that these continued and distinct existences are fictions of imagination, and in this way, don't diserve our trust and assentiment. This complicated situation brings Hume to the radical scepticism that, according to himself, can only be cured by "carelessness and in-attention". But how can we interpret Hume's declaration? My proposal is that by means of the humean concept of mitigate scepticism present in the Treatise, book 1, part 4, section 7, and in Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, section 12, we can comprehended Hume's situation. In both books, he presented for us a way of philosophical investigation that is, for him, more adequate: the sceptical method. However, humean scepticism is not the radical one that obstructed all action, instead, more mitigated humean scepticism brings with itself one part of the "gross earthy mixture, as an ingredient" (T, that constitutes common life (AU)

FAPESP's process: 10/11305-9 - The belief in the external world and the mitigated skepticism in Hume.
Grantee:Laila Thaís Correa e Silva
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master