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David Hume is thought by many to be the most important and influential philosopher to do original work in the English Language.

Hume writes in the empiricist tradition of John Locke, George Berkeley, and others. and his magnum opus, A Treatise of Human Nature, is a comprehensive attempt to account…


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Republic is Plato’s most famous and most influential dialogue. In it he goes into depth on all of the subjects for which he is universally known: The virtues and vices of various political systems, education, art, the human psyche, the Forms, justice, and much more.

Plato is probably the most…


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Hume attacks the principle of induction, which he calls cause-and-effect reasoning, in at least two ways in his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.

His most devastating attack is in Section IV, Part 1, where he shows that the reasoning behind inductive inference is circular. The argument runs thus:

  1. All matters of…

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Hume’s entire philosophical project can be seen as a refutation of the rationalism that Descartes so systematically deploys, but when you ask for a specific argument, two come prominently to mind. …


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It is said that once Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and Owen Lovejoy were riding in a coach to Bloomington, Illinois, when a dispute broke out between Douglas and Lovejoy concerning the proper proportion of a man’s legs to his torso.

When asked to weigh in on the ideal length for…


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Writers do not precisely agree on what logic is, and without an exact definition, it would not be prudent to claim very decidedly that it is either an intrinsic component of the cosmos or a purely human invention.

The term “logos” applied to metaphysical concerns seems to appear first in…


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I don’t know if it is a good reason or not, but the explanation seems to be that the action of providing food or drink to a person who is in line to vote constitutes, or could easily evolve into an instance of illegal electioneering.

The Republicans are manifestly doing…


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Plato shows in his Theaetetus that experience and reason seem to act like competitors in the task of guiding us to knowledge. In that dialogue, Socrates identifies Protagoras as the standard bearer for experience while he himself carries reason’s baton.

Socrates explains to Theaetetus, and his teacher Theodorus, that defining…


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The Pre-Socratics asked a couple of basic questions about the cosmos, and those questions and the answers they came up with made all of the difference in the way that Western intellectual history has played out.

The first question was, “Why do the things that are beyond our control happen…

Charles Gray

“If it can be done, why do it?” Gertrude Stein

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