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Displaying: 1-20 of 829 documents

1. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Dan Kervick Hume’s Perceptual Relationism
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My topic in this paper will be Hume’s claim that we have no idea of a vacuum. I offer a novel interpretation of Hume’s account of our ideas of extension that makes it clear why those ideas cannot include any ideas of vacuums, and I distinguish my interpretation from prominent readings offered by other Hume scholars. An upshot of Hume’s account, I will argue, is his commitment to a remarkable and distinctly Humean view I call “perceptual relationism.” Perceptual relationism is a fundamental characteristic of Hume’s “universe of the imagination,” and a manifestation of just how “loose and separate” the constituents of that inner universe are. Once we understand perceptual relationism and its entailments, we are in a better position to understand the rest of Hume’s sometimes puzzling remarks on space and the vacuum.
2. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Kevin R. Busch Hume’s Alleged Lapse on the Causal Maxim
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In his account of our belief in the Causal Maxim Hume argued, among other things, that it is not absolutely necessary for any event to be caused. Harold Noonan attempts an objection to Hume’s argument: in showing (i) the absolute possibility for any event to exist without its actual cause, Hume would not thereby show (ii) the absolute possibility for any event to exist uncaused. For this objection to succeed, Noonan needs two further assumptions: first, that Hume indeed could not move plausibly from (i) to (ii); second, that Hume needed to move from (i) to (ii) to show (ii). Both assumptions are false.
3. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Matias Slavov Hume on the Laws of Dynamics: The Tacit Assumption of Mechanism
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I shall argue that when Hume refers to the laws of dynamics, he tacitly assumes a mechanism. Nevertheless, he remains agnostic on whether the hidden micro-constitution of bodies is machinelike. Hence this article comes to the following conclusion. Hume is not a full-blown mechanical philosopher. Still his position on dynamic laws and his concept of causation instantiate a tacitly mechanical understanding of the interactions of bodies.
4. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Richard J. Fry Skeptical Influences on Hume’s View of Animal Reasoning
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Hume directly addresses animal reasoning and concludes that human causal reasoning must be similar to what he has identified in non-human animals. It would be easy to attribute influence on this issue to skeptical thinkers who influenced other parts of Hume’s philosophy and also addressed non-human animal reasoning, that is, Bayle, Montaigne, and/or Sextus Empiricus. I argue that such claims of direct influence are improbable. First, Hume establishes conclusions about human reasoning on the basis of examining animals; the skeptics establish conclusions about animal reasoning on the basis of their similarities to humans. Second, Hume’s conclusions in these sections differ in scope and function from those of these skeptics. Finally, Hume’s evidence differs markedly from these skeptics’. Hume and these skeptics do make use of the same kind of comparison between humans and animals, but that comparison is also found in other Modern thinkers that Hume read: I show that it is present in Hobbes and Locke.
5. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Kelly M. S. Swope On David Hume’s “Forms of Moderation”
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Treatise 2.3.6, “Of the influence of the imagination on the passions,” provides a magnified view into the relationship between motivation, morality, and politics in Hume’s philosophy. Here, Hume analyzes a “noted passage” from the history of antiquity in which the citizens of fifth-century Athens deliberated over whether to burn the ships of their neighboring Grecians after winning a decisive naval victory against the Persians. Hume finds the passage notable precisely because of a failure of the imagination to exert an influence on the Athenians’ passions during their deliberations, leading them to abstain from further military action. This paper discusses how Hume’s analysis of this event reveals new connections between his passional, moral, and political theories in the Treatise.
6. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Jonathan Harold Krause The Political Lessons of Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
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Much scholarship has traditionally treated David Hume’s interest in religion as primarily theoretical in character. This theoretical treatment of Hume’s engagement with religion neglects his marked concern with religion’s relation to political life. In the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume is primarily concerned not with theory but with religion’s practical effects. In this article, I build on recent scholarly attention to the connection between religion and politics in Hume’s thought by examining the dialogical form of the Dialogues, and especially, the role of Pamphilus, the young student whose central place in the Dialogues is often overlooked. The consideration of the best approach to take to the religious education of Pamphilus throws into sharp relief the practical consequences of different theoretical approaches to religion. The question of religion’s political consequences, and the ramifications of those consequences for the religious education of the young, is Hume’s primary focus in the Dialogues.
7. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Andre C. Willis The Impact of David Hume’s Thoughts about Race for His Stance on Slavery and His Concept of Religion
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Reconsidering David Hume’s thoughts about race using the methods of both Black critical thought and critical approaches in the study of religion can shed new light on the grounds of his response to slavery and his way of conceiving religion. This paper argues that Anglo-colonialist processes of racialization subjugated others based on both their physical and theistic “types.” Viewing Hume’s stance on slavery and his complicated writings on religion through the lens of these colonialist modes of racialization reveals that Hume’s commitment to the fixed hierarchy of races, his “rejection” of slavery, and his ‘history’ of religions serviced his belief in black inferiority and supported Anglo-colonialist domination.
book reviews
8. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Miren Boehm Whence the Chemistry of Hume’s Mind?: Tamás Demeter. David Hume and the Culture of Scottish Newtonianism: Methodology and Ideology in Enlightenment Inquiry
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9. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
James A. Harris Jia Wei. Commerce and Politics in Hume’s History of England
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10. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Danielle Charette Paul Sagar. The Opinion of Mankind: Sociability and the Theory of the State from Hobbes to Smith
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11. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Peter Thielke Elizabeth Robinson and Chris W. Suprenant, eds. Kant and the Scottish Enlightenment
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12. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Hume Studies Referees, 2016–2017
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13. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Ruth Boeker Locke and Hume on Personal Identity: Moral and Religious Differences
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Hume’s theory of personal identity is developed in response to Locke’s account of personal identity. Yet it is striking that Hume does not emphasize Locke’s distinction between persons and human beings. It seems even more striking that Hume’s account of self in Books 2 and 3 of the Treatise has less scope for distinguishing persons from human beings than his account in Book 1. This is puzzling, because Locke originally introduced the distinction in order to answer questions of moral accountability, and Hume’s discussion of self in Book 2 provides the foundation of his moral theory in Book 3. In response to the puzzle, I show that Locke and Hume hold different moral and religious views and these differences are important to explain why their theories of personal identity differ.
14. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Lorne Falkenstein Without Gallantry and Without Jealousy: The Development of Hume’s Account of Sexual Virtues and Vices
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In this paper I argue that Hume’s thought on comportment between the sexes developed over time. In the Treatise he was interested in explaining why the world seeks to impose artificial virtues of chastity and modesty on women and girls, and how it manages to do this so successfully. But as time passed he became increasingly concerned with justice towards women and the role of free interactions between the sexes in facilitating sociability. While his later work continues to explain the origin of the artificial female virtues of chastity and modesty in the way he had in the Treatise, it also recognizes and condemns proprietary attitudes towards women and surveys various ways of achieving a balance between male jealousy and sociability. It concludes by condemning the male vices of jealousy and “gallantry” while suggesting that the emphasis on female chastity and modesty is excessive.
15. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Nabeel Hamid Hume’s (Berkeleyan) Language of Representation
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Although Hume appeals to the representational features of perceptions in many arguments in the Treatise, his theory of representation has traditionally been regarded as a weak link in his epistemology. In particular, it has proven difficult to reconcile Hume’s use of representation as causal derivation and resemblance (the Copy Principle) with his use of representation in the context of impressions and abstract ideas. This paper offers a unified interpretation of representation in Hume that draws on the resources of Berkeley’s doctrine of signs. On this account, while the Copy Principle still occupies the core of Hume’s “content empiricism,” the manner in which any perception represents is understood as involving a relation of sign to thing signified. A sign/signified interpretation has the virtue of allowing Hume to remain within the strictures of his empiricism, while underwriting the various senses in which an impression or idea could possess content. Such an interpretation is not only adequate to account for the role that mental representations play in everyday behavior, but also for the purposes of elaborating the foundations of civil society that are Hume’s concern in Book 3 of the Treatise.
16. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Lauren Kopajtic Cultivating Strength of Mind: Hume on the Government of the Passions and Artificial Virtue
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Several authors have recently noted Hume’s relative silence on the virtue of strength of mind and how it is developed. In this paper I suggest that Hume had good reasons for this silence, and I argue that Hume’s discussion of artificial virtue, especially the virtue of allegiance, reveals a complex view of the limitations on human efforts at self-reform. Further, it reveals the need for government and externally-imposed regulative structures to enable the development of strength of mind. I argue that because of this, strength of mind awkwardly straddles Hume’s distinction between natural and artificial virtue. I conclude that, in comparison with traditional models of self-control, Humean strength of mind is indirect, artificial, and social.
17. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
David Landy Is Hume an Inductivist?
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De Pierris has argued that Hume is what she calls an inductivist about the proper method of scientific inquiry: science proceeds by formulating inductively-established empirical generalizations that subsume an increasing number of observable phenomena in their scope. De Pierris thus limits Hume’s understanding of scientific inquiry, including his own science of human nature, to observable phenomena. By contrast, I argue that Hume’s conception of science allows for the positing of, and belief in, unobservable theoretical entities on purely explanatory grounds. I present the details of De Pierris’s interpretation of Hume, and the reasons and means for rejecting it. I then consider Hume’s explicit statements on his science of human nature to show that all of these are compatible with Hume’s accepting a more expansive understanding of scientific explanation. Finally, I briefly consider some examples from the Treatise of Hume’s employing just such a methodology.
18. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Peter Thielke Turnabout is Fair Play: A New Humean Response in the Old Debate with Kant
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Kant claims that Hume failed to see that mathematics provides us with synthetic a priori knowledge; had he done so, Kant argues, Hume would have to admit the possibility of such knowledge in causal judgments as well. Instead, Kant insists that Hume treats mathematics as analytic, and so missed the key insights of the Critical philosophy. I argue that it is rather Kant who is mistaken: Hume, in fact, endorses a position very similar to the view that mathematics is synthetic and a priori, and arrives at an account of mathematical necessity that stands as a plausible alternative to Kant’s. More importantly, recognizing this Humean account of mathematics exposes a potentially grave vulnerability in Kant’s system that Hume might exploit: while mathematics can be seen as synthetic a priori knowledge, Hume can argue that this gives us good reason to think that causal judgments cannot meet this standard of necessity.
book review
19. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Karl Schafer Jacqueline Taylor. Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume’s Philosophy
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20. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Index to Volume 41
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