The relation between the sceptical and the natural capacities, constituting the human condition, is the most fundamental problem of Hume’s epistemology. The author claims that there is a permanent dichotomy and incompatibility between these two capacities, with natural inclinations of our mind being the only constructive epistemological force. Hume’s sceptical arguments are – following Richard Popkin – analyzed in the context of the revival of the Pyrrhonian scepticism in 17th century. In this perspective, Hume develops a strategy of alternatively hiding and exposing one of these aspects, sceptical and natural, without providing any grounds for unifying them: theoretical scepticism remains wholly unmitigated and natural instincts remain totally unaffected by doubts. Hume’s sceptic is a split, schizophrenic personality, living in two distinct worlds. In this way, Hume evokes some postmodern views, especially by undermining the universal authority and the liberating mission of reason, the privileged status of philosophy, and the credibility of Grand meta-narratives.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.