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Popper and Hume: Two Great Skeptics

Chapter

Abstract

Karl Popper explicitly discusses two problems in David Hume’s epistemology. He praises Hume for his critique of induction, specifically for his claim that inductive inferences are logically invalid. He rejects Hume’s psychological account of induction, specifically his theory of belief formation by repetition. Thus, Popper famously concludes that Hume buried the logical gems in the psychological mud and endorsed an irrationalist epistemology. The logical problem of induction gives Popper the impetus for spelling out his new, negative concept of reason, one which is incompatible with justification; however, Popper’s approach does not adequately deal with all the relevant themes related to Hume’s psychological problem of induction: our instinctive yearning for justification. Yet Popper and Hume have more in common than Popper explicitly acknowledges.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Philosophy, The Czech Academy of SciencesPragueCzech Republic

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