Re: Hume

From: Andrew Brown (Andrew@LUBS.LEEDS.AC.UK)
Date: Mon Nov 17 2003 - 08:24:03 EST

Hi Ian,

On 14 Nov 2003 at 18:10, Ian Wright wrote:

> There's been lots of answers to Hume, not least Kant
> and Hegel. A modern approach is Bhaskar's critical
> realism, in particular "A Realist Theory of Science".
> Related to Andrew's point: he holds that critical
> realism doesn't fully answer Hume either, and that to
> fully answer him requires a more forceful identity between
> thought and reality.
> But really it is very silly to deny the reality of
> causal change independent of our knowledge of it.
> And Wittgenstein was regularly quite silly in his
> reduction of ontology to epistemology, his empiricism
> of language, and belief that philosophy was essentially
> about analysing implicit common-sense theories.
> Here I agree with Popper that philosophy (and reality)
> is much more than that.

It is of course very silly to deny mind-independent causation. My argument is that
many philosophical attempts to avoid this obvious silliness collapse to (Humean)
scepticism. In a nutshell, if causation is mind-independent then causation could be
impossible to grasp by the mind. Popper's philosophy is a case in point, I would
argue, despites Popper's claim to overcome Hume.

The philosophical trick is to uphold mind-independent casuation (reality) without
succommbing to Hume and I argue that materialist dialectics does just that.

Many thanks,


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