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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces Hume’s search for the impression-source of the idea of necessary connection through Book 1 of the Treatise. It then sketches and evaluates the main interpretative positions concerning Hume’s account of causation. These positions characterize Hume either as a regularity theorist who thinks that causation is merely a matter of temporal priority, contiguity, and constant conjunction, a projectivist who takes causal talk to have an essential non-representational element, or a skeptical realist who believes in, and believes that we genuinely refer to, real causal powers. Finally, it briefly discusses rival interpretations of Hume’s famous “two definitions” of causation.

Keywords: Causation, necessary connection, constant conjunction, regularity, projection, skeptical realism

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