Donal, in England, wrote:
Hume is not consistent a philosopher and so quoting him can be used to support this and the opposite: for example, his logical attack on induction is at odds with his defence of it as a _well-based_ psychological habit.
The passages I quoted set out a purely logical point. They contained aniterative argument that shows, Hume thinks, that the facts behind the facts are as questionable as the original fact at every stage. This has nothing to do with
'psychology.' You can challenge Hume's argument but you should get it straight before you do. Hume shows elsewhere that you cannot infer the uniformity ofnature from the past, no matter how regularly one event has been conjoined with another. That is, 'Whenever A then B, in the past' does not entail 'So, whenever A then B.' His argument is that the first statement and 'A, but not B,' is not a
contradiction (and neither is the conjunction of the first two statements a tautology). So, what justifies us in thinking that the future will be like the past? Our expectations. We're just wired up to form this habit of association. This is a brute fact about us for which no explanation is given. Why you think that the 'logical attack' and the psychological account are at odds with eachother is not clear. The former paves the way for the latter in Hume's writings.
When I wrote that Hume's answer to 'What can the subject say about the probability of something's being in the third box (and what) or its being empty?' would be: 'Nothing,' I meant that Hume's answer would be, 'Nothing.' Donal's response, insofar as I understand it was that this was wrong (?), because '...there is no inductive probability. There is just as much...chance of the third box containing...' And here, he lists what might be in the box,(but does not close the sentence, i.e., does not say that there is just as much
chance of one of the things on his list's being in it as there is...(what?). Let's let this grammatical incoherence pass. It might help Donal if it were pointed out that Hume thought that chance applied to the possibility of one of two things taking place--either x or y. Probability deals with the possibilityof one or more of a number of things but at least more than two's taking place.
Donal adds that the possibility of anything at all's being inside the box (given
perhaps the constraint imposed by the dimensions of the box) is 'the logical point.' Maybe someday he will explain that to us. Robert Paul Reed College ------------------------------------------------------------------ To change your Lit-Ideas settings (subscribe/unsub, vacation on/off, digest on/off), visit www.andreas.com/faq-lit-ideas.html