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1. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Ann Levey, Karl Schafer, Amy M. Schmitter Editors’ Introduction for Volume 42
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2. Hume Studies: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1/2
Emilio Mazza, Gianluca Mori “Loose Bits of Paper” and “Uncorrect Thoughts”: Hume’s Early Memoranda in Context
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Hume’s early memoranda continue to excite different and contradictory interpretations as to their dating, sources, and relation to the Treatise, the Essays and the Dialogues. Our interpretation is based on a double hypothesis: they are notes taken from other notes, rather than current reading notes, and many of them, as to their content, precede the composition of the Treatise. We compare Hume’s notes with their declared or hidden sources and we analyse Hume’s quotations from two of his favourite philosophical authors: Dubos and Bayle. The memoranda are revealed to be notes deemed worth transcribing, later to be put aside or to be developed. Most of them show the breadth of Hume’s youthful interests: history, politics and economics, as well as metaphysics and religion in the early eighteenth century.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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
10. 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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