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Hume Studies

Volume 38, Issue 1, April 2012

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Herman De Dijn Spinoza and Hume on Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
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Spinoza and Hume are two naturalist philosophers who were among the first modern thinkers to study religion as a natural phenomenon. There undoubtedly are similarities in their accounts of the origin of religion in imagination and passion (emotion). But those who see Hume as a crypto-Spinozist are nevertheless confronted with serious differences between the two philosophers with respect to their understanding of religion and its various forms. These differences concern fundamental issues like the meaning and acceptability of the notion of God and its function in different spheres, the possibility of a kind of philosophical religiosity, and the possible advantage of religion, at least in some of its forms, to individual and social life. The militant “Spinozism” of Hume belongs to a world perhaps (in part) made possible by Spinoza, but nevertheless alien to him.
2. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
David Landy Hume’s Theory of Mental Representation
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Hume’s arguments in the Treatise require him to employ not only the copy principle, which explains the intrinsic properties of perceptions, but also a thesis that explains the representational content of a perception. I propose that Hume holds the semantic copy principle, which states that a perception represents that of which it is a copy. Hume employs this thesis in a number of his most important arguments, and his doing so enables him to answer an important objection concerning the status of the copy principle. I further argue that the semantic copy principle is necessary, a priori, and discovered through an analysis of our general idea of representational content.
3. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Jani Hakkarainen A Third Type of Distinction in the Treatise
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In this paper, I resolve a potential contradiction between two of Hume’s central tenets: that complex perceptions consist of simple perceptions and that distinct things are separable. The former implies that a complex perception is not separable from its constituent simple perceptions, as a change in its constituents destroys its identity. The latter entails that the complex perception is separable from these simple perceptions, since it is distinct from them. This is a contradiction. I resolve it by appealing to a third kind of distinction in addition to the two kinds Hume mentions: real distinctions and distinctions of reason. This third distinction is a partial distinction. I argue that just as the separability principle does not apply to distinctions of reason, neither does it apply to perceptions that are only partially distinct from other perceptions. Hence, the apparent contradiction is resolved.
4. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Miren Boehm Filling the Gaps in Hume’s Vacuums
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The paper addresses two difficulties that arise in Treatise 1.2.5. First, Hume appears to be inconsistent when he denies that we have an idea of a vacuum or empty space yet allows for the idea of an “invisible and intangible distance.” My solution to this difficulty is to develop the overlooked possibility that Hume does not take the invisible and intangible distance to be a distance at all. Second, although Hume denies that we have an idea of a vacuum, some texts in Treatise 1.2.5 are taken by interpreters to suggest that Hume nonetheless believes that there are vacuums in nature. I discuss the relevant texts and defend the view that Hume does not in fact countenance belief in vacuums. I conclude by outlining an interpretation of Hume’s intention in the Treatise that allows us to understand his discussion of ideas as having implications for the sciences.
notes and texts
5. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Lorne Falkenstein Hume’s Seneca Reference in Dialogues 12: An Assessment of Alternatives
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In section 12 of the Dialogues, Hume claimed, without reference, that Seneca had written that to know God is to worship him. His source has proven hard to find. This note identifies some possibilities and argues in favour of one of them—one that has not been recognized by recent editors of the Dialogues.
6. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Todd Ryan Hume’s “Malezieu Argument”
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At T Hume offers an argument against the infinite divisibility of finite extension, which he ascribes to “Mons. Malezieu.” Scholars have long been aware that the ultimate source of the argument is the Élémens de Géométrie de Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne, first published in 1705. Although the argument has figured prominently in several recent discussions of Hume’s metaphysics, there exists as yet no adequate English translation of Malezieu’s text. Furthermore, very little is known about Hume’s immediate sources for the argument. In this article, I provide the original French text with translation. I then inquire into Hume’s knowledge of the text. Drawing on evidence internal to the Treatise passage itself, I consider two plausible sources: a contemporary review of Malezieu’s work in the Nouvelles de la République des Lettres and a critical discussion of the argument in Le Gendre’s Traité de l’opinion (1735). Based on the available evidence, I suggest that the latter was most likely Hume’s source.
book reviews
7. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Beth Innocenti The Politics of Eloquence: David Hume’s Polite Rhetoric. By Marc Hanvelt
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8. Hume Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Emily Kelahan David Hume and the Problem of Other Minds. By Anik Waldow
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