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Ravaisson and the force of habit

Sinclair, Mark (2011) Ravaisson and the force of habit. Journal of the History of Philosophy, 49 (1). pp. 65-85. ISSN 0022-5053

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Abstract

This article concerns Félix Ravaisson's response in his 1838 text Of Habit to the skepticism advanced by 18th century Scottish philosophy concerning our knowledge of habit as a force or principle. Contra David Hume and Thomas Reid, Ravaisson argues that the force of habit can be known because it, and not simply its effects, is present in our experience as a tendency or inclination that can be explained neither in physiological nor in intellectualist terms. I show how this argument ultimately depends on a conception of being that brings into question traditional conceptions of the meaning and possibility of 'ontology'.

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