Kant's Response to Hume in the Second Analogy
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This dissertation project aims to solve −what I call− Kant’s “problem of empirical laws,” a problem concerning the coherence of Kant's claims that empirical laws as laws express a kind of necessity, and as empirical judgments they are contingent. In the literature, this issue is framed in the context of Kant’s relation to Hume, and formulated as a question of whether Kant agrees with Hume that empirical laws are mere contingent generalizations. The disagreement on Kant’s conception of empirical laws partly stems from attributing different goals to Kant's argument in the Second Analogy. In my dissertation, I closely examine the two most popular readings of the Second Analogy, namely the "modest" and the "strong" readings, which view the Second Analogy as responding to Hume's "problem of causation" and "problem of induction" respectively. After pointing out some textual and philosophical problems with both readings, I offer an alternative interpretation of what the Second Analogy establishes, which allows me to read Kant's apparently conflicting passages in a coherent manner, and thereby solve Kant’s problem of empirical laws.
Problem of Causation
Problem of Induction