Philosophy

Discussion

Hume and Philosophical Analysis

Richard Wasserstroma1

a1 Stanford University, California

In his article entitled “Moore and Philosophical Analysis”, Professor Morris Lazerowitz selects Hume's analysis of causality as an example of the way in which philosophers have in the past misleadingly stated what they were trying to do. Professor Lazerowitz asserts at least three things of Hume's analysis. (1)Since Hume insisted that there was no impression of necessary connection, it follows that Hume could not have been examining sequences of events. (2)Therefore, Hume must have been doing something else; namely, misleadingly calling attention to the fact that it always makes literal sense to say of any two supposedly causal events that they are only accidentally connected. Hume, in other words, deprived causal verbs of their use “by linguistic fiat” so that he could more pointedly illustrate the likeness between causal and accidental-occurrence statements.