In this paper I discuss and analyze the multiple positions that people have taken on the subject of Humean theories of causation. To do this, the historical narrative of causation as it evolved through history and philosophy is outlined and serves as important context for Hume’s texts and insights. Hume remains alive and well not only in classrooms but in academic discourse, where the final conclusions of his major works are still evaluated and debated by professional philosophers and academics. I seek to assess the strength of each position and contribute something of a position of my own to the conversation. The main question of the debate is whether David Hume believed in something like causal necessity in nature, if he had purely epistemological interests, or if he rejected necessary causation completely, reducing causation to another way of indicating unconnected sequences of events. I will ultimately conclude that David Hume was a causal agnostic and that this is evident in both his main works and in his character.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-10-2016


Ronald J. Messerich

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Philosophy and Religion

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Philosophy and Religion