Necessary connections between distinct existences: A Peircean challenge to Humeanism
Legg, C. (2012). Necessary connections between distinct existences: A Peircean challenge to Humeanism. Paper presented at the 14th International Meeting on Pragmatism, Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, November 5 to 8, 2012.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6932
It is hard to overestimate the impact of Hume’s famous dictum: “There are no necessary connections between distinct existences” on the subsequent development of mainstream philosophy. It has not only influenced philosophical thinking about causation, laws of nature and other areas of ‘scientific metaphysics’, but also modality, mathematics, personal identity and very importantly, ethics. But is it true? I argue that Hume uses the supposed axiomatic status of his dictum as a covert means of denying - whilst avoiding an honest metaphysical debate about - the view of scholastic realism. I discuss how Peirce by contrast engaged in this debate, and some of his conclusions.
Copyright 2012 The Author.