•  70
    Skepticism and Incomprehensibility in Bayle and Hume
    In The Skeptical Enlightenment: Doubt and Certainty in the Age of Reason, . pp. 129-60. 2019.
    I argue that incomprehensibility (what the ancient skeptics called acatalepsia) plays a central role in the skepticism of both Bayle and Hume. I challenge a commonly held view (recently argued by Todd Ryan) that Hume, unlike Bayle, does not present oppositions of reason--what Kant called antimonies.
  • Psyche and Soma: Physicians and Metaphysicians on the Mind-Body Problem From (edited book)
    with Paul Potter
    Oxford University Press UK. 2000.
    Psyche and Soma is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the conceptions of the human soul or mind and body, through the course of more than two thousand years of Western history. Thirteen specially commissioned chapters, each written by a recogized expert, discuss figures such as the physicians Hippocrates, Galen, Stahl, and Cabanis; theologians St Paul, Augustine, and Aquinas; and philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes, Leibniz, and La Mettrie. The chapters explore in chronlogical se…Read more
  •  41
    Hume: an intellectual biography (review)
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4): 823-832. 2017.
    This is a review article discussing James Harris’s excellent study of David Hume’s full philosophical career including his epistemology, moral philosophy, politics, economics, religion, and history. Harris argues against a common view that in his later writings Hume is merely working out and developing the ideas of his Treatise of Human Nature. He even argues that Hume’s two Enquiries are substantially new works and not mere recasting of his youthful Treatise. Harris writes that philosophy for H…Read more
  • Stephen Nadler, Spinoza: A Life (review)
    Philosophy in Review 19 436-438. 1999.
  •  558
    Ideas Of Habit And Custom In Early Modern Philosophy
    Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1): 18-32. 2011.
  •  3
    The author argues that the core of Hume’s Academic skepticism lies in his commitment to an external world and objective causal powers that are cognitively opaque to human understanding. Three central topics of Hume’s theory of the understanding are discussed —the existence of absolute space, the existence of a world external to our senses, and the existence of objective causal powers. In each case, Hume draws a Pyrrhonian opposition between judgments based on his “Copy Principle” and the “fictio…Read more
  • John William Yolton
    with James Buickerood
    Locke Studies 6 23-30. 2006.
  •  8
    John Locke
    with Kathleen M. Squadrito
    Philosophical Review 91 (2): 278. 1982.
  •  10
    Psyche and Soma is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the history of understanding of the human mind or soul and its relationship to the body, through the course of more than two thousand years. Thirteen specially commissioned chapters, each written by a recognized expert, discuss such figures as the doctors Hippocrates and Galen, the theologians St Paul, Augustine, and Aquinas, and philosophers from Plato to Leibniz
  •  13
    The Concepts of Illness, Disease and Morbus
    Philosophical Books 22 (2): 89-90. 1981.
  •  17
    Ideas in Seventeeth‐Century France (review)
    Philosophical Books 22 (2): 90-91. 1981.
  •  40
    Bayle (review)
    Teaching Philosophy 8 (3): 265-267. 1985.
  •  75
    This paper argues for the importance of Chapter 33 of Book 2 of Locke's _Essay Concerning Human Understanding_ ("Of the Association of Ideas) both for Locke's own philosophy and for its subsequent reception by Hume. It is argued that in the 4th edition of the Essay of 1700, in which the chapter was added, Locke acknowledged that many beliefs, particularly in religion, are not voluntary and cannot be eradicated through reason and evidence. The author discusses the origins of the chapter in Locke'…Read more
  •  39
    In this paper I show how what came to be known as “the double law of habit,” first formulated by Joseph Butler in a discussion of moral psychology in 1736, was taken up and developed by medical physiologists William Porterfield, Robert Whytt, and William Cullen as they disputed fundamental questions regarding the influence of the mind on the body, the possibility of unconscious mental processes, and the nature and extent of voluntary action. The paper shows, on a particular topic, the overlap be…Read more
  •  155
    The publication of a new intellectual biography of George Cheyne provides a "propitious" occasion for "a thoroughly skeptical review" of the question which has long exercised Hume scholars, whether Cheyne was the intended recipient of David Hume's fascinating pre-Treatise Letter to a Physician, the letter which describes his own hypochondriacal physical and mental symptoms and gives an account of his early philosophical development. Hume's nineteenth-century biographer, John Hill Burton, argued …Read more
  •  739
    Wayne Waxman’s Hume’s Theory of Consciousness (review)
    Hume Studies 21 (2): 344-350. 1995.
  •  4
    Hume's causal realism: Recovering a traditional interpretation
    In Rupert J. Read & Kenneth A. Richman (eds.), The New Hume Debate, Routledge. pp. 88--99. 2000.
  •  477
    Stability and Justification in Hume's Treatise (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (4): 562-564. 2003.
  •  75
    Scepticism, Causal Science and 'The Old Hume'
    Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2): 123-142. 2012.
    This paper replies to Peter Millican (Mind, 2009), who argues that Hume denies the possible existence of causal powers which underlie the regularities that we observe in nature. I argue that Hume's own philosophical views on causal power cannot be considered apart from his mitigated skepticism. His account of the origin of the idea of causal power, which traces it to a subjective impression, only leads to what he calls ‘Pyrrhonian scepticism’. He holds that we can only escape such excessive skep…Read more
  •  187
    Hume vs. Reid on ideas: The new Hume letter
    Mind 96 (383): 392-398. 1987.
    In the newly discovered letter Hume answers Reid's charge that he held a theory of ideas derived from his predecessors and criticizes Reid's own theory of innate ideas. He defends his own theory that ideas are derived from impressions. I discuss Reid's own puzzlement that in the first _Enquiry_ Hume ascribes a natural belief in necessary connections to the vulgar without an idea--and its influence on subsequent readings of Hume as a 'regularity theorist.' I argue that it was the 'Common Sense' s…Read more
  •  1448
    Hume’s Academic Scepticism: A Reappraisal of His Philosophy of Human Understanding
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3): 407-435. 1986.
    A philosopher once wrote the following words:If I examine the PTOLOMAIC and COPERNICAN systems, I endeavour only, by my enquiries, to know the real situation of the planets; that is, in other words, I endeavour to give them, in my conception, the same relations, that they bear towards each other in the heavens. To this operation of the mind, therefore, there seems to be always a real, though often an unknown standard, in the nature of things; nor is truth or falsehood variable by the various app…Read more
  •  299
    The Understanding
    In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, Oxford University Press. pp. 148-70. 2013.
    The article discusses the varying conceptions of the faculty of ‘the understanding’ in 18th-century British philosophy and logic. Topics include the distinction between the understanding and the will, the traditional division of three acts of understanding and its critics, the naturalizing of human understanding, conceiving of the limits of human understanding, British innatism and the critique of empiricist conceptions of the understanding, and reconceiving the understanding and the elimination…Read more
  •  12
    McGill Hume Studies
    Philosophical Books 24 (1): 22-24. 1983.
  •  1
    Hume and Hume's Connexions (edited book)
    with M. A. Stewart
    Pennsylvania State University Press. 1995.
    Presenting significant new research on the moral and religious philosophy of David Hume, this volume illustrates the importance of intellectual context in understanding the work and career of one of the most important thinkers of the eighteenth century. Distinctive in its reappraisal of the influence of John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, and others, it examines how Hume reacted to, and in turn affected, other thinkers whose views, like his own, were bound up with specific philosophical, theological,…Read more