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1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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
7. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Karl Schafer, Jacqueline Taylor. Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume’s Philosophy
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8. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Index to Volume 41
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9. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 2
Hume Studies Referees, 2015–2016
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10. Hume Studies: Volume > 41 > Issue: 1
Lisa Ievers, The Method in Hume’s “Madness”
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Hume’s response to his dramatic encounter with skepticism in the Treatise is well known: his skepticism dissipates when he socializes with others in the comparatively amusing sphere of common life. As many commentators have noted, however, this “response” to skepticism is really no response at all. In this paper, I show that the charge that Hume provides a non-response to skepticism at T 1.4.7.9 (SBN 269) is misplaced, for what is standardly interpreted as Hume’s skepticism in the preceding paragraph is not skepticism. Instead, I argue, it is the condition of “madness,” a disordered mental state in which “every loose fiction” enjoys the same status as a “serious conviction” (T 1.3.10.9; SBN 123). Hume’s alleged response to skepticism at T 1.4.7.9 (SBN 269) would indeed be unsatisfying, if he were responding to skepticism. As a response to madness, it is perfectly adequate.