Hume’s Science of Human Nature is an investigation of the philosophical commitments underlying Hume's methodology in pursuing what he calls ‘the science of human nature’. It argues that Hume understands scientific explanation as aiming at explaining the inductively-established universal regularities discovered in experience via an appeal to the nature of the substance underlying manifest phenomena. For years, scholars have taken Hume to employ a deliberately shallow and demonstrably untenable notion of scientific explanation. By contrast, Hume’s Science of Human Nature sets out to update our understanding of Hume’s methodology by using a more sophisticated picture of science as a model.

chapter |18 pages


chapter 1|34 pages

Two Case Studies

The Impression-Idea and Simple-Complex Distinctions

chapter 2|43 pages

Hume’s Scientific Realism

chapter 3|45 pages

The Course of Science

Substance, Language, and Reason

chapter 4|51 pages

The Science of Body