Tuesday, 20 March 2007
Naturalism and Wonder: Charles Peirce on the Logic of Hume’s Argument against Miracles
Catherine Legg, University of Waikato, New Zealand and current
Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Peirce wrote that Hume's argument against miracles (which is generally liked by twentieth century philosophy for its antireligious conclusion) "completely misunderstood the true nature of" abduction. This paper argues that if Hume's argumentative strategy were seriously used in all situations (not just those in which we seek to "banish superstition"), it would deliver a choking scientific conservatism. It suggests that some morals for contemporary naturalistic philosophy may be drawn from Peirce's argument against Hume.