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Hume Studies

Volume 46, Issue 1/2, April/November 2020

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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents

1. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Michael Jacovides Hume and the Laws of Nature
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The common view that Hume is a regularity theorist about laws of nature isn’t textually well grounded. The texts show that he thinks of them as objective governing principles that could conceivably be violated while still counting as a law of nature. This is a standard view at the time, and Hume borrows it from others. He implies that the best evidence for rational religion is the exceptionless workings of the laws of nature, he argues that suicide isn’t incompatible with the will of God by identifying his will with the laws of nature, and he has Philo argue for the existence of God from the simplicity of the laws governing the world. He sheds some of the theological baggage that laws of nature carry at the time, but not all of it.
2. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Hynek Janoušek The Broader Context of Sympathy in Book 2 of the Treatise
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The following text suggests interpreting Hume’s theory of sympathy in Book 2 of the Treatise of Human Nature in a broader context of relations, feelings, and senti­ments. It is this context which marks off different types of impressions and their different phenomenology, and offers rich insights into Hume’s theory. As regards Hume’s theory of sympathy, it can be analyzed for various cases of sympathy both in the context of the (1) conception involved in a given case of sympathy, and in the context of its (2) doxastic and (3) affect-constituting vivacity. The article first describes three kinds of associative relations (causal relations, relations of modes and substances, and projection of spatial contiguity) involved in the conception of passions in sympathy, and shows how these relations might help to differentiate impressions of our feelings from those of other people. Yet another distinction between impressions produced by sympathy is possible with respect to the context of belief or doxastic vivacity involved in the conception of the feelings of others. The text tries to illustrate this by showing how the neutralization of disbelief and relations of space and time differentiate impressions of sympathy with fictive heroes of tragic plays, from sympathy with real people in everyday life. Finally, the article discusses a broader context of the affect-constituting vivacity. Even though Hume’s view of the origin of this vivacity remains unclear, it can be shown that the affect-constituting vivacity grounds our proper experience with others as affective others, and differentiates our conception of persons from our conception of inanimate objects. Moreover, different kinds of associative relations involved in the transfer of the affect-constituting liveliness differentiate felt emotions of people which are close to us from felt emotions of people related to us merely on account of our self-interest.
3. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Jason Fisette Hume’s Quietism about Moral Ontology in Treatise 3.1.1
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On a standard reading of David Hume, we know two things about his analogy of morals to secondary qualities: first, it responds to the moral rationalism of Clarke and Wollaston; second, it broadcasts Hume’s realism or antirealism in ethics. I complicate that common narrative with a new intellectual contextualization of the analogy, the surpris­ing outcome of which is that Hume’s analogy is neither realist nor antirealist in spirit, but quietist. My argument has three parts. First, I reconstruct Hume’s argument against rationalist moral ontology in Treatise 3.1.1, revealing his attention to the Intellectual­ism/Voluntarism debate in rationalism. Second, I present evidence of Hume’s familiarity with the debate between Intellectualist moral realists and Voluntarist moral antirealists, notably Pufendorf. Third, I establish that Hume’s analogy undermines a key assumption structuring that debate, and that the analogy consequently signals his quietist abstention from his rationalist contemporaries’ realism/antirealism debate in ethics.
4. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Ian Cruise Hume’s Account of the Scope of Justice
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Hume’s account of the scope of justice, many think, is implausibly narrow, apply­ing almost exclusively to respect for property rights. Such a view would indeed be highly objectionable because it would leave out of the scope of justice altogether requirements to keep our promises, obey the law, and refrain from threats and violence (among many others). I argue that Hume’s theory of justice, properly understood, avoids this objection. And seeing how is instructive because once we understand his account correctly, we can appreciate its resources for offering attractive explanations of why a number of diverse phenomena fall within the scope of justice. Overcoming this challenge is a major step- ping stone on the way to seeing Hume’s theory of justice as a genuine competitor with the other dominant theories of justice in the philosophical literature.
5. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Aaron Alexander Zubia Hume, Epicureanism, and Contractarianism
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While scholars have begun to illuminate the contribution of modern Epicure­anism to developments in political theory during the Enlightenment, scholars remain divided as to whether David Hume should be interpreted as an appropriator of modern Epicurean thought. In this essay, I contend that Hume’s political theory contributes not only to the development of the Epicurean idiom, but also to the evolution of contractarian thought, with which Epicureanism is linked. Though Hume is undoubtedly innovative, particularly in regard to his treatment of consent, he does not operate in an entirely new idiom of political theory, one that is “without precedent” (Sagar, Opinion of Mankind). Instead, Hume adopts and refines the Epicurean conventionalism that propelled the modern liberal project of turning politics into a science. This interpretation of Hume clarifies what modern Epicurean political theory is, while also showing that the alleged distance between Hume and Lockean liberalism is narrower than often supposed.
6. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Todd Ryan Philo’s Second Circumstance: Malebranche and the General Laws Theodicy in Hume’s Dialogues
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In Part XI of the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, Philo enumerates “four circumstances” which he claims are the principal sources of pain and suffering in human life. In this paper, I focus on Philo’s second circumstance in which he develops a critique of what I call the ‘general laws theodicy.’ This theodicy, according to which natural evils arise as a result of God’s government of the universe by simple and general laws of nature, is most closely associated with Nicolas Malebranche. However, I argue that Philo’s criticisms badly misfire against Malebranche’s version of the theodicy. I then show how the general laws theodicy was radically reinterpreted by a succession of British philosophers—among them Berkeley, Hutcheson and Butler—and that it is against this reconceived version of the theodicy that Philo’s objections are aimed.
book review
7. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Louise Daoust Mary Shepherd’s Essays on the Perception of an External Universe
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8. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Charles Goldhaber Hume’s Scepticism: Pyrrhonian and Academic
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9. Hume Studies: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1/2
Hume Studies Referees, 2018–2021
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