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constant conjunction

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


M etaphysics Hume 's term for the relation that exists when the occurrence of an event of one kind A is invariably attended by the occurrence of an event of another kind B. Fire is generally followed by heat; hence there is a constant conjunction between fire and heat. The experience of constant conjunction between two or more kinds of event conveys to our mind the idea of a necessity connection between these events, and leads us to label the precedent events as causes and the attendant events as effects. On the basis of such an experience, when we observe A, we infer the existence of B. Thus Hume claimed that our idea of causation is derived from constant conjunction. “… the constant conjunction of objects determines their causation.” Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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