chapter
8 Pages

Prologue

1People and Their Actions
ByConstantine Sandis

People don’t write books about David Hume’s philosophy of action because he is usually categorised as espousing an outmoded form of empiricist volitionism, which makes little, if any, progress on that of John Locke. There is, of course, the Humean theory of motivation, which is typically discussed without mention of Hume’s account of actions, 1 other than the assumption of some form of causalism, despite the popularity of simultaneously maintaining that Hume is some kind of sceptic about causation. Against this grain, I wish to demonstrate that the study of human behaviour is pivotal to Hume’s entire project, that his volitionism forms but a tiny part of his philosophy of action as a whole, and that this offers a non-sceptical account of causation that is pivotal to it.