The New Synthese Historical Library

Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects

Authors: Rocknak, Stefanie

  • The first comprehensive account of Hume’s conception of objects
  • Discusses hotly debated claims in recent literature, such as why some causal relations are justified, and why Hume is not a “skeptical realist”  
  • Contains many analyses that sharply diverge from traditional accounts 
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eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2187-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2186-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9835-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book provides the first comprehensive account of Hume’s conception of objects in Book I of A Treatise of Human Nature. What, according to Hume, are objects? Ideas? Impressions? Mind-independent objects? All three? None of the above? Through a close textual analysis, Rocknak shows that Hume thought that objects are imagined ideas. But, she argues, he struggled with two accounts of how and when we imagine such ideas. On the one hand, Hume believed that we always and universally imagine that objects are the causes of our perceptions. On the other hand, he thought that we only imagine such causes when we reach a “philosophical” level of thought. This tension manifests itself in Hume’s account of personal identity; a tension that, Rocknak argues, Hume acknowledges in the Appendix to the Treatise. As a result of Rocknak’s detailed account of Hume’s conception of objects, we are forced to accommodate new interpretations of, at least, Hume’s notions of belief, personal identity, justification and causality.

About the authors

Stefanie Rocknak (PhD 1999, Boston University) is currently an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Director of the Cognitive Science Program at Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. Her work has appeared in a number of journals and books, including Brain and Mind, Hume Studies, Philosophy Today (SPEP edition) and Beyond Description: Normativity in Naturalised Philosophy (ed. M. Milkowski and K. Talmont-Kaminski).

Reviews

From the book reviews:

“Rocknak’s strategic choice of subject matter, the simplicity and explanatory power of her main argument, together with her painstaking, detailed work on the relevant texts, make this a breakthrough work in Hume’s psychology. Indeed, it deserves to be regarded as the most important book on Hume published in more than a decade. … We are very fortunate to have this volume, which moves us firmly forward in understanding Hume’s model of the mind … .” (Yoram Hazony, British Journal for the History of Philosophy, August, 2014)

“‘The principle of individuation is nothing but the invariableness and uninterruptedness of any object, thro’ a suppos'd variation of time’. Stefanie Rocknak's Imagined Causes is a highly original, exceptionally thorough, and extremely controversial attempt to provide a comprehensive account of how Hume reaches that conclusion.” (William Edward Morris, The Philosophical Quarterly, January, 2014)


Table of contents (12 chapters)

  • Four Distinctions

    Rocknak, Stefanie

    Pages 3-27

  • Elementary Belief, Causally-Produced Belief and the Natural Relation of Causality

    Rocknak, Stefanie

    Pages 29-51

  • The Two Systems of Reality

    Rocknak, Stefanie

    Pages 53-66

  • Proto-Objects

    Rocknak, Stefanie

    Pages 75-90

  • The First Account of Transcendental Perfect Identity: The Foundation of Secret Causes

    Rocknak, Stefanie

    Pages 91-104

Buy this book

eBook $159.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2187-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-2186-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $209.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-9835-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects
Authors
Series Title
The New Synthese Historical Library
Series Volume
71
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
eBook ISBN
978-94-007-2187-6
DOI
10.1007/978-94-007-2187-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-007-2186-9
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-9835-9
Series ISSN
1879-8578
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 292
Topics