Hume's and Anscombe's View on Causation

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In this paper I discuss both Hume’s and Anscombe’s view on causation. I begin with Hume and his regularity theory; then I move onto Anscombe where I provide a rebuttal of Hume’s regularity theory, and later I explain how Hume would respond to Anscombe’s objection to Hume’s regularity theory. Hume’s notion of causation is his regularity theory. Hume explains his regularity theory in two ways: (1) “we may define a cause to be an object, followed by another, and where all the objects similar to the first are followed by objects similar to the second” (2) “if the first object had not been, the second never had existed.” Hume defines causation in terms of natural necessity and explains natural necessity as follows: of two events, if event A…show more content…
In this case Hume would argue that it is because it was event A’ and not event A, because if it were event A then event B would have happened, but because event B’ happened then it must be that it was event A’. On the other hand, Anscombe disagrees with Hume, and believes that we can, and do observe causation. Anscombe uses examples of crushing, chewing, pushing, and such to illustrate that we do perceive causation. For example, if person A holds a sheet of paper in their hand, and then begins to crush the sheet of paper, and then later we see the sheet of paper crumbled; Anscombe argues that this is enough evidence to show that we do perceive causation, because we can see the causing of the sheet of paper to crumble. Another example is of person A cutting a sheet of paper; Anscombe would argue that it is evident that we observe the causing of the sheet of paper be divided. In addition, Ansombe add that we can perceive causation by tracing an effect to its cause. For example, of the cutting of a sheet of paper by person A, one can traced the effect (sheet of paper cut in half) to its cause (person A cutting the sheet of paper). Therefore, Anscombe claims that we do perceive causation. Anscombe believes that this evidence is sufficient to prove that we not only perceive “contiguity” and “succession” of events, but the cause of events. From Hume’s regularity theory,

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