• Roger D. Gallie
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 45)


It ought to be well known that Kant expressed a low opinion of common sense philosophers in regard to their assessment of Hume’s discussion of causality; and Reid’s name occurs in a list in the Prolegomena to any Future Metaphysics of those who (p.7f):

by always taking for granted what he [Hume] was doubting, and on the other hand proving….. what it had never entered his head to doubt, they so mistook his hint as to how to improve matters that everything remained as it was, as if nothing had happened. The question was not whether the concept of cause is correct, useful, and in respect of all knowledge of nature indispensible, for this Hume never held in doubt, but whether it is thought a priori by reason, and in this way has an inner truth independent of all experience, and hence also has a more widely extended usefulness, not limited merely to objects of experience; this was the question on which Hume expected enlightenment. He was only talking about the origin of this concept, not about its indispensibility in use; once the former was determined, the conditions of its use and the extent of its validity would have been settled automatically.


Active Power Causal Principle Genuine Possibility Abstract Truth Uniform Experiment 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger D. Gallie
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeicesterUK

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