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Hume Studies

Volume 40, Issue 1, April 2014

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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents


articles
1. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Lilli Alanen Personal Identity, Passions, and “The True Idea of the Human Mind”
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This paper explores some strands of the new science of man proposed in Hume’s Treatise, focusing on the role given to the passions in Hume’s account of personal identity. How is the view of the self with regard to the passions examined in Book 2 supposed to complement, as Hume suggests, that with regard to thought and imagination discussed in Book 1 (T 1.4.6.19; SBN 261)? How should the nature and object of the account there proposed be understood? While it is clear that Hume rejects a metaphysical thesis of the mind as a unitary, simple thinking substance, it is less clear whether he also gives an alternative metaphysical theory of the mind as consisting in a mere succession of discrete impressions and ideas or more modestly offers a description of what we actually observe when inspecting our idea of self. I favor the latter view and argue that Hume’s best and most interesting characterization of the mind is the political analogy of the self as a republic or commonwealth that Hume calls a “true idea of the human mind.” The mind in this metaphor is compared to a dynamic political system of changing members driven by common or shared goals and interacting in determinate ways regulated by its constitution. This system of interconnected ideas already comes with all the elements that a broader, embodied and social self presupposes. It is thus because the idea of mind or self as sketched in the Section “Of Personal Identity” in Book 1 is grounded in the passions that the examination of their nature and mechanisms in Book 2 can be seen by Hume as actually “corroborating” it.
2. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Henrik Bohlin Effects on the Mind as Objects of Reasoning: A Perspectivist Reading of the Reason-Passion Relation in Hume’s Ethics
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Hume’s ethics is concerned not only with the metaphysical status of moral qualities but equally, if not more, with the problem of determining to what extent and under what conditions issues of moral disagreement and inquiry can be decided by rational argumentation. This paper argues that Hume’s solution to the second problem is a form of perspectivism: the rational decidability of moral issues depends on the existence of shared perspectives, or sets of assumptions and correlated dispositions to feelings, and is largely independent of the metaphysical status of moral qualities. An issue of disagreement may thus be rationally decidable among people with certain dispositions to feeling but not among others. A similar perspectivist reading is suggested for Hume’s analysis of knowledge about causes and effects.
3. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Roger L. Emerson, Mark G. Spencer A Bibliography for Hume’s History of England: A Preliminary View
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Recent years have witnessed a renewed scholarly interest in David Hume’s History of England (1754–1762), and this essay adds to that interest by analyzing the sources that Hume used in the History. Unfortunately, Hume did not provide a bibliography or guide to those sources, and no scholar has produced one since. We have been preparing a bibliography for publication and the following essay is a preliminary view of some of what it will show. It demonstrates that Hume consulted and used more varied sources, and used them in more skillful ways, than commonly has been assumed.
4. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Åsa Carlson The Moral Sentiments in Hume’s Treatise: A Classificatory Problem
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In the Treatise, Hume writes several seemingly incompatible things about the moral sentiments, thus there is no general agreement about where they fit within his taxonomy of the perceptions. Some passages speak in favor of the view that moral sentiments are indirect passions, a few in favor of the view that they are direct passions, and yet a couple of explicit statements strongly suggest otherwise. Due to these tensions in Hume’s text, we find at least five competing characterizations in the literature:• Moral sentiments are calm emotions.• Moral sentiments are calm direct passions.• Moral sentiments are calm versions of the indirect passions of love or hatred.• Moral sentiments are unique species of calm indirect passions.• Moral sentiments are indirect secondary impressions.This paper assesses each of these interpretations. When their virtues are brought together, a new interpretation of the origin of moral sentiments starts to emerge.
5. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Jason R. Fisette Hume on the Lockean Metaphysics of Secondary Qualities
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Hume is widely read as committed to a kind of anti-realism about secondary qualities, on which secondary qualities are less real than primary qualities. I argue that Hume is not an anti-realist about secondary qualities as such, and I explain why Hume’s remarks on the primary-secondary distinction are better read as abstaining from the realist/anti-realist debate as it was understood by modern philosophers such as Locke. By contextualizing Hume’s discussion of the primary-secondary distinction in Treatise 1.4.4 as a response to a broadly Lockean understanding of the distinction, my analysis retrieves Hume’s critique of the resemblance and inseparability theses that structure Locke’s version of the distinction and establishes that Hume has epistemic reasons to reject Locke’s metaphysical conclusions about the distinction.
book review
6. Hume Studies: Volume > 40 > Issue: 1
Vicente Sanfélix Vidarte David Hume. Dialoghi sulla religione naturale. Edited by Gianni Paganini
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