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Theses

Raison et empirisme chez David Hume

Abstract : Hume is commonly seen as an empiricist philosopher and as a critic of reason. The project of this thesis is to examine the relation between these two characterizations, and to highlight the way that Hume expands empiricism into the faculty of reason, resulting in a new conception of the understanding, which is both empirical and skeptical. In opposition to the generally accepted idea, which states that Hume's theory of reason is set against "metaphysical" or "rationalist" conceptions of this faculty, the thesis argues that, in his account of reason, Hume mainly critiques "empiricist" philosophers. These thinkers are critiqued for being confined to a superficial view of experience. Through an exploration of several fields (theory of experience, theory of the passions, theory of morals, history, contemporary sciences, such as mechanics), it is shown that Hume's critique of reason stems from an extension and intensification of empiricism. This demonstration challenges the traditional view of Hume, as the heir to the "empiricist" tradition (particularly Locke and Hutcheson) and as a mere critic of the "rationalist" philosophers (particularly Leibniz and Malebranche). These positions, which seem at first sight surprising, are rooted in the demand that experience be analysed : it is only through analysing the immediate and ordinary experience we have of our reasoning that we can arrive at a true account of the powers of reason, and give new ground to the question of the legitimacy of reason to govern our beliefs.
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Sophie Bergont. Raison et empirisme chez David Hume. Philosophie. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PA01H214⟩. ⟨tel-02125090⟩

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