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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Hume is not a rationalist. This paper attempts to explain why by examining Hume’s argument in Treatise 1.3.3 from his separability principle to the denial of that hallmark of rationalism, the Principle of Sufficient Reason. The surprising source of Hume’s anti-rationalism reveals that his argument against rationalism is even stronger than has generally been appreciated and that only a rationalist such as Spinoza who embraces a strong form of monism is in a position to avoid the force of Hume’s argument. This special resiliency against Hume’s argument may help to explain some of Hume’s invective against Spinoza in Treatise 1.4.5.

Keywords: Hume, Spinoza, rationalism, Principle of Sufficient Reason, monism, separability

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