Humeanisms: metaphysical and epistemological

Aaron Segal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Classic inductive skepticism–the epistemological claim that we have no good reason to believe that the unobserved resembles the observed–is plausibly everyone’s lot, whether or not they embrace Hume’s metaphysical claim that distinct existents are “entirely loose and separate”. But contemporary advocates of a Humean metaphysic accept a metaphysical claim stronger than Hume’s own. I argue that their view plausibly gives rise to a radical inductive skepticism–according to which we are downright irrational in believing as we do about the unobserved–that we don’t otherwise have reason to accept. The Metaphysical Neo-Humean is in an epistemological quagmire all her own.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)905-925
Number of pages21
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I presented a version of this paper at the 2018 Bucharest-Budapest Workshop on Humeanisms, and an earlier version at the 2016 Hebrew University/UNC-Chapel Hill Joint Philosophy Workshop on Metaphysics and History of Metaphysics. I am indebted to participants at both workshops for helpful comments. I also received invaluable feedback from a number of anonymous referees, for which I am most grateful. Research for this paper was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 932/16) and was facilitated by Tom Baz and Yonatan Eisenstein.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Denial of necessary connections
  • Epistemological humeanism
  • Metaphysical humeanism
  • Problem of induction


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