Hume's Scepticism and the Science of Human Nature

This book explores the relationship between Hume's sceptical philosophy and his Newtonian ambition of founding a science of human nature. Assessing both received and 'new' readings of Hume's philosophy, Stanistreet offers a line of interpretation which, he argues, makes sense of many of the apparent conflicts and paradoxes in Hume's work and describes how well-known controversies concerning Hume's thinking about causation, induction and the external world can be resolved. Stainstreet argues that Hume's notorious sceptical arguments are not the episodic outbursts of an unsystematic philosopher, but emerge as part of his attempt to provide science and philosophy with grounds which face up to and withstand the scepticism to which reflective thinkers are naturally prone. Offering important new contributions to Hume scholarship, this book also surveys and assesses the new research responsible for the recent sea-change in thinking about Hume. It offers an accessible overview of these developments while suggesting significant revisions to current readings of Hume's philosophy.