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Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 18.docx

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University of California - Davis
George Mattey

Philosophy 1 Lecture Day 18 • Hume criticizes the method of doubt that was advocated by Descartes • He characterizes it as recommending before all study and philosophy a universal doubt which must extend to the veracity of our faculties. • The doubt about our faculties could be overcome by: • But there is no such self -evident original principle. • Hume concludes that not only is Cartesian antecedent doubt impossible to attain but it would by its very nature be incurable if it could be attained. • It does have value if understood moderately as promoting strict standards of investigation. • Hume cautions against excessive (Pyrrhonian) skepticism on the grounds that it cannot be sustained in practical life and nothing useful comes from it. • He advocates instead a more moderate (academic) skepticism in which we restrain our reasoning to relations od ideas and to matters of fact that are supported by experience. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason • The recollection of David Hume awoke him from his dogmatic slumber • Kant set out to place metaphysics on a new footing by subjecting the use of pure reason to a scathing critique. • Three fundamental interests of human beings: 1. Does God exist? 2. Am I free in my actions? 3. Will I survive my death? • 3 branches of metaphysics to answer the questions are: 1. Theology 2. Cosmology 3. Psychology • An acceptable metaphysical system must be based on the a priori use of reason • Theoretically, it can be known a priori what is possible and what is actual (though perhaps only by God and not by humans) • Kant and Hume agree that the principle of sufficient reason (PSR) can’t be justified a priori. • If that is correct then PSR is fundamental to any metaphysical system and if the PSR is fund
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