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Miracles – Philosophical Perspectives

3. Objections to Hume and the Likelihood of Miracle Stories

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module we examine some objections to Hume’s argument, and Hume’s argument for the likelihood of miracle stories. In particular we focus on (i) the objection based on reasons to believe testimony to very improbable events (ii) the response to this argument based on the probability both the event and specific errors in the testimony (iii) Hume’s reasons for the likelihood of miracle stories based on the motivations for giving testimony (iv) Hume’s reasons for the likelihood of certain miracle stories based on the context of times and places lacking in scientific knowledge and scepticism (v) Hume’s examples for his case for the likelihood of miracle stories (vi) the kinds of miracle stories in circulation in antiquity.

Course

In this course Dr Arif Ahmed (University of Cambridge) explores philosophical perspectives on miracles, with special reference to David Hume. In the first module we look at different ideas about the nature of a miracle, and introduce Hume’s argument. After that, in the second module we examine Hume’s famous argument against witness testimony as evidence for miracles. In the third module, we evaluate some objections to Hume’s argument and explore Hume’s case for the likelihood of miracle stories. In the fourth module we examine the impact of divergent religions and multiple witnesses on Hume’s account of testimony. In the fifth module, we look at responses to the independent witness argument; before turning to Maurice Wiles’ take on miracles and deism in the sixth lecture. In the seventh and final lecture, we investigate further philosophical problems concerning our understanding of what constitutes a law of nature, as well as the miracles in relation to free will and fideism.

Lecturer

Dr Arif Ahmed is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He writes mainly on decision theory, but also has an interest in religion and has debated the subject against William Lane Craig, Tariq Ramadan, Rowan Williams and others. Some of his recent publications include (as editor) Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide (2010), Evidence, Decision and Causality (2014) and (as editor) Classical Philosophical Arguments: Newcomb's Problem (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Ahmed, A. (2022, April 21). Miracles – Philosophical Perspectives - Objections to Hume and the Likelihood of Miracle Stories [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://massolit.io/courses/miracles-philosophical-perspectives/objections-to-hume-and-the-likelihood-of-miracle-stories

MLA style

Ahmed, Arif. "Miracles – Philosophical Perspectives – Objections to Hume and the Likelihood of Miracle Stories." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Apr 2022, https://massolit.io/courses/miracles-philosophical-perspectives/objections-to-hume-and-the-likelihood-of-miracle-stories

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