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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Volume 72, Issue 1, January 2006

Kevin Meeker
Pages 120-136

Was Hume a Proper Functionalist?

Nicholas Wolterstorff has claimed that David Hume hinted at a proper functionalist account that anticipates the epistemology of Alvin Plantinga. In this paper, I shall argue that we should refrain from attributing a proper functionalist epistemology to Hume. I shall first raise doubts as to how one could fit a notion of proper functioning into Hume's descriptive project. Next, I shall argue that adopting a proper functionalist epistemology would undermine some of Hume's most famous claims about causal inferences.