John Tillotson Archives



More Generally: Historical Thinkers (310)

October 31, 2020

Hume's Polemic against Tillotson (and Friends) in "Of Miracles"

Interpreters of Hume's "Of Miracles" (section 10 of the Enquiry concerning Human Understanding) have often been puzzled about the purpose of Part 2 of the essay. It appears to many interpreters that Hume's argument in Part 1, if it works at all, must establish that it is impossible in principle for any testimony to yield rational belief in miracles. (For defense of this interpretation of Part 1, see, e.g., Robert Larmer.) The announced purpose of Part 2, however, is to argue that actually existing testimony of miracles is of poor quality. If Part 1 has established that no matter how...
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