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Hume’s Dynamism: the Problem of Power

(Original title: Hume’s Dynamism: the Problem of Power)
Organon F, 2008, vol. 15, No 1, pp. 20-28.
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In this essay, I investigate the dynamic foundations of Hume’s philosophy which is so heavily dependent upon Newton’s physics. Hume’s ubiquitous phrase „force and vivacity” is symptomatic of his dynamic, rather than voluntaristic, position that dominates his interpretation of impressions, ideas, and causality in particular. After pointing out some inconsistencies of Hume’s Newtonism, I concentrate on Hume’s treatment of power. It is a well-known fact that Hume rejected natural powers, in fear of their occult character, but accepted human powers giving them an actualist interpretation. I suggest that there is a dispositional treatment hidden in Hume’s statements which puts Hume in line with other philosophers of power.

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