Testimony and intellectual virtues in Hume’s epistemology





David Hume, testimony, miracles, virtue epistemology.


In this paper I consider some issues concerning Hume’s epistemology of testimony. I’ll particularly focus on the accusation of reductivism and individualism placed by scholars against Hume’s view on Testimonial evidence based on the 10th section of his Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. I will first explain the arguments against Hume position, and address some replies in the literature in order to offer an alternative interpretation concerning the way such a defense should go. My strategy is closely connected with Hume’s notion of virtue and the role it plays in his epistemology, mostly as it is presented in his Treatise of Human Nature. I’ll finally address the problem concerning how the aforementioned section of the Enquiry “Of Miracles”, must be properly understood, since several misunderstanding of Hume’s epistemology of testimony emerge partially from the particular character and aim of that section.

Recebido: 05/10/2015
Aceito: 17/05/2017

Biografia do Autor

  • Ruth Marcela Espinosa, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile

    Assistant Professor, Departamento de Humanidades, Facultad de Educación, Universidad Andres Bello, Santiago – Chile.

    I would like to thank Dr. Luis Placencia, Prof. Rainer Enskat and Dr. James Mattingly for their helpful comments on a previous version of this article. I would also like to thank Dan O’Brian for providing me with a copy of his paper, which I cite below.



02-01-2020 — Atualizado em 22-07-2022



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Como Citar

Testimony and intellectual virtues in Hume’s epistemology. (2022). Trans/Form/Ação, 42(4), 29-46. https://doi.org/10.1590/0101-3173.2019.v42n4.03.p29