Friday, May 03, 2019

Science Philosopher John Earman on David Hume's Essay "Of Miracles"

"It is not simply that Hume's essay does not achieve its goals, but that his goals are ambiguous and confused.  Most of Hume's considerations are unoriginal, warmed over versions of arguments that are found in the writings of predecessors and contemporaries.  And the parts of 'Of Miracles' that set Hume apart do not stand up to scrutiny.  Worse still, the essay reveals the weakness and the poverty of Hume's own account of induction and probabilistic reasoning.  And to cap it all off, the essay represents the kind of overreaching that gives philosophy a bad name."1

Courage and Godspeed,

1. John Earman, Hume's Abject Failure: The Argument against Miracles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 3., as quoted by Lee Strobel in The Case for Miracles, p. 91.

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