HUME: SCEPTICISM AND PHILOSOPHY
 In Enquiry 12, Hume takes up the scope and limits of human knowledge, which he takes to
be the fundamental issue posed by scepticism.
 Hume rejects Descartes’s approach to philosophy, in general and in its details. Skepticism, he
argues, is better if not hyperbolic but instead grounded on something “consequent to science and
enquiry.” Indeed, it is the only sensible response to Descartes’s proposal to doubt the veracity
of our own faculties, which Hume thinks is complete and unanswerable (think of Descartes’s
insanity hypothesis). Besides, Hume holds, some version of circularity would be involved under
 The proper conclusion to draw from Descartes’s examples, Hume maintains, is a proper
skepticism about the senses. Hume argues that the examples and doubts lead to a ‘representative
theory’ of perception. But we can take two attitudes towards it. First, we could have a kind of
naive faith that things in the world are as we represent them to be. But this is mere dogmatism.
Second, once we reﬂect on the situation philosophically, we realize that objects (whatever they
may be) are independent of our perceptions of them, and there is no way to ever know whether
they are like our perceptions or