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David Agler and Ryan Pollock article accepted in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly

David Agler and 5th year graduate student Ryan Pollock had their paper, “Hume and Peirce on the Ultimate Stability of Belief” accepted for publication in The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.

David Agler and Ryan Pollock article accepted in Pacific Philosophical Quarterly Lecturer David Agler and 5th year graduate student Ryan Pollock had their paper, “Hume and Peirce on the Ultimate Stability of Belief” accepted for publication in The Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.  The paper investigates David Hume’s position on the question of the attainment of stable beliefs and brings this into dialogue with C.S. Peirce’s work on the issue. 

            In particular, they argue that David Hume was optimistic about the possibility that philosophical investigation can lead to stable beliefs, but that C.S. Peirce was pessimistic on this point.   Louis Loeb has argued that Hume is pessimistic while Peirce is optimistic about the attainment of fully stable beliefs. In contrast, Agler and Pollock argue that Hume was optimistic about such attainment but only if the scope of philosophical investigation is limited to first-order explanatory questions. Further, they argue that Peirce, after reformulating the pragmatic maxim to accommodate the reality of counterfactuals, was pessimistic about such attainment. Finally, they articulate and respond to Peirce’s objection that Hume’s skeptical arguments in T 1.4.1 and his commitment to common sense indicate that Hume was confused about whether we could have stable beliefs at all.