more from David Hume

Single Idea 20705

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 9. General Causation / d. Causal necessity]

Full Idea

I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that anything might arise without a cause: I only maintained that our certainty of the falsehood of that proposition proceeded neither from intuition nor from demonstration, but from another source.

Gist of Idea

That events could be uncaused is absurd; I only say intuition and demonstration don't show this


David Hume (Letters [1739], 1754), quoted by Brian Davies - Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 5 'God'

Book Reference

Davies,Brian: 'An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion' [OUP 1993], p.77

A Reaction

Since the other source is habit, he is being a bit disingenuous. While rational intuition and demonstration give a fairly secure basis for the universality of causation, mere human habits of expectation give very feeble grounds.