The Philosopher’s Reaction to the Vulgar: Imagined Causes Revisited

  • Stefanie Rocknak
Part of the The New Synthese Historical Library book series (SYNL, volume 71)


In Part II of this book, we saw that Hume thinks that we always imagine ideas of objects that admit of perfect identity—by way of transcendental causation. However, while explaining the “philosopher’s” position in 1.4.2, Hume claims that we only imagine causes in reaction to the vulgar, where we do not employ transcendental causation. In this chapter, we examine the philosophical position in detail. In Sect. 1, I explain why vulgar perspective II falls apart—at the hands of the philosophers. In Sect. 2, I explain why the philosophers think that it is reasonable to think that mind-independent objects exist. In Sect. 3, I explain why Hume thought the philosophers were mistaken.


Philosophical Position Modus Tollens Philosophical System Independent Existence Perfect Identity 
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  3. Smith, N. K. (1941). The philosophy of David Hume; a critical study of its origins and central doctrines. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefanie Rocknak
    • 1
  1. 1.Hartwick CollegeOneontaUSA

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