Necessity, Power, and Freedom
Just as Hume is about to give up on the existence of any sort of necessitating power, he makes the last-ditch move of redefining it in such a way that it refers to our impressions of something that one would have prima facie thought would fail to live up to the name. Our acquaintance with those impressions, now baptised ‘necessity’, ends up being compatible with our ability to conceive that the same cause might have not been followed by its effect (even if we cannot help but to expect that it will). This chapter explores this characteristic move and its repercussions in relation to inductive reasoning and free will. Ultimately, it will equip Hume with a story about the power of agents to move their bodies and thereby navigate the world around them.