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Hume Studies

Volume 31, Issue 2, November 2005

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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents

1. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Thomas Holden Religion and Moral Prohibition in Hume’s “Of Suicide”
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This paper presents a new analysis of the logical structure of Hume’s attack on the theological objection to suicide. I suggest that Hume intends his reasoning in “Of Suicide” to generalize, covering not just suicide but any arbitrary action: his implied conclusion is that no human action can violate a duty to God. I contrast my reading with a series of recent interpretations, and argue that the various criticisms of Hume’s reasoning are based on a misunderstanding of what he is about. Finally, I also show the integration of Hume’s discussion of suicide with his broader critique of attempts to generate moral conclusions by way of natural religion.
2. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Ruth Weintraub A Humean Conundrum
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Hume’s Copy Principle, which accords precedence to impressions over ideas, is restricted to simple perceptions. Yet in all the conceptual analyses Hume conducts by attempting to fit an impression to a (putative) idea, he never checks for simplicity. And this seems to vitiate the analyses: we cannot conclude from the lack of a preceding impression that a putative idea is bogus, unless it is simple. In this paper I criticise several attempts to account for Hume’s seemingly cavalier attitude, and offer one of my own.
3. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Gregg Osborne Hume’s Argument in Treatise An Exposition and Defense
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Hume claims to prove in Treatise that the causal maxim is neither intuitively nor demonstratively certain. The aim of this paper is to elucidate some puzzling features of his argument and thereby show that objections raised by James Beattie, Barry Stroud, and Harold Noonan can be answered. The conclusion is that Hume’s argument goes through given convictions Hume expects his readers to share long before they reach this point of the Treatise. These convictions are that all ideas are imagistic entities, that all images must be fully determinate, and that there is no empirical evidence against the claim that nothing we can conceive or imagine in detail implies a contradiction.
4. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Gerald J. Postema “Cemented with Diseased Qualities”: Sympathy and Comparison in Hume’s Moral Psychology
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The key to unlocking the mystery of human passions, according to Hume, lay in the interaction between two fundamental psychological mechanisms or principles: sympathy and comparison. Both our sociality and our asociality find their psychic origins in the complex interaction of these principles. Due to the operation of these principles, justice is necessary for social life. It channels and controls the passions in contexts of social interaction; they in turn generate resources from which the structures of justice and the foundations of political society can be built by intelligent and sympathetic human beings. This essay explores Hume’s account of sympathy and comparison and some of the passions they generate, in the hope of gaining a better understanding of his unsentimental and unblinkered view of our social asociality.
5. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
David Phillips Hume on Practical Reason: Normativity and Psychology in Treatise 2.3.3
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I argue for an interpretation of Hume on practical reason different both from the traditional instrumentalist interpretation and the more recent nihilist interpretation. Both involve reading Hume as making normative claims. On the nihilist interpretation, Hume denies that either passions or actions can violate authoritative norms of reason; on the instrumentalist interpretation, Hume denies that passions can violate authoritative norms of reason, but holds that instrumentally irrational actions violate the one such authoritative norm. I argue instead for a purely psychological interpretation of T 2.3.3 and parallel passages in T 3.1.1. As I interpret him, Hume does not here even address the question whether passions or actions can violate authoritative norms. His conclusion is merely that a person’s beliefs cannot conflict with her passions.
6. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Henry E. Allison Hume’s Philosophical Insouciance: A Reading of Treatise 1.4.7
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This paper argues that Hume’s central concern in T 1.4.7 is to find a way to rely upon his cognitive faculties in spite of what he has learned about them in the preceding sections of part 4. The trouble is that having identified the understanding with “the general and more establish’d properties of the imagination” (T; SBN 267), Hume finds that these properties cannot function apart from other “seemingly trivial” ones, which calls into question the trustworthiness of his cognitive faculties. I claim that Hume justifies this reliance by appealing to what Don Garrett has termed the “title principle,” which enables him to practice “true scepticism” by being diffident of his philosophical doubts as well as of his philosophical conviction” (T; SBN 273).
7. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Michelle Mason Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason
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Hume and contemporary “Humeans” have had prominent roles in reinvigorating the study of practical reason as a topic in its own right. I introduce a distinction between two divergent trends in the literature on Hume and practical reason. One trend, action-theoretic Humeanism, primarily concerns itself with defending a general account of reasons for acting, often one supposed to establish that moral reasons lack the categorical status the moral rationalist requires them to possess. The other trend, virtue-theoretic Humeanism, concentrates on defending the case for being an agent of a particular practical character, one whose enduring dispositions of practical thought are virtuous. I discuss work exemplifying these two trends and warn against decoupling thought about Hume’s and a Humean theory of practical reason from Hume’s and a Humean ethics. I conclude that the virtue-theoretic approach is a fruitful one for pursuing future work on Hume and Humeanism about practical reason.
book review
8. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Adam Potkay Impressions of Hume
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9. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Index to Volume 31
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10. Hume Studies: Volume > 31 > Issue: 2
Hume Studies Referees, 2004–2005
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