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Abstract

It has been argued that there is a genuine conflict between the views of geometry defended by Hume in the Treatise and in the Enquiry: while the former work attributes to geometry a different status from that of arithmetic and algebra, the latter attempts to restore its status as an exact and certain science. A closer reading of Hume shows that, in fact, there is no conflict between the two works with respect to geometry. The key to understanding Hume's view of geometry is the distinction he draws between two standards of equality in extension.