David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Review 119 (1):108-112 (2009)
Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. It is an established orthodoxy among almost all commentators that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, however, that Hume's skeptical arguments and commitments appear to undermine and discredit his naturalistic ambition to contribute to "the science of man". This schism appears to leave his entire project broken-backed. The solution to this riddle depends on challenging another, closely related, point of orthodoxy: namely, that before Hume published the Treatise he removed almost all material concerned with problems of religion. Russell argues, contrary to this view, that irreligious aims and objectives are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence. It is Hume's basic anti-Christian aims and objectives that serve to shape and direct both his skeptical and naturalistic commitments. When Hume's arguments are viewed from this perspective we can solve, not only puzzles arising from his discussion of various specific issues, we can also explain the intimate and intricate connections that hold his entire project together. This "irreligious" interpretation provides a comprehensive fresh account of the nature of Hume's fundamental aims and ambitions in the Treatise. It also presents a radically different picture of the way in which HUme's project was rooted in the debates and controversies of his own time, placing the Treatise in an irreligious or anti-Chrisitan philosophical tradition that includes Hobbes, Spinoza and freethinking followers. Considered in these terms, Hume's Treatise constitutes the crowning achievement of the Radical Enlightenment
|Keywords||Hume religion skepticism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
James A. Harris (2009). Of Hobbes and Hume: A Review of Paul Russell, the Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism and Irreligion. [REVIEW] Philosophical Books 50 (1):38-46.
Peter Millican (2011). The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. [REVIEW] British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (2):348-353.
Lorenzo Greco (2012). The Riddle of Hume's Treatise. Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. By Paul Russell. (Oxford UP, 2008. Pp. Xvi + 424. Price US$99.00 Hb, US$34.95 Pb.). [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):432-435.
Colin Heydt (2010). The Riddle of Hume's Treatise :Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3):401-402.
Paul Russell (2008). The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. Oxford University Press.
Sean Greenberg (2008). 'Naturalism' and 'Skepticism' in Hume's Treatise of Human Nature. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):721-733.
Rico Vitz (2008). Review of Paul Russell, The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (7).
Richard H. Popkin & Arie Johan Vanderjagt (eds.) (1993). Scepticism and Irreligion in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. E.J. Brill.
James Wiley (2012). Theory and Practice in the Philosophy of David Hume. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nicholas L. Sturgeon (2001). Moral Skepticism and Moral Naturalism in Hume's Treatise. Hume Studies 27 (1):3-83.
Michel Malherbe (2008). The Riddle of Hume's Treatise. [REVIEW] Hume Studies 34 (2):305-308.
Stefanie Rocknak (2007). The Vulgar Conception of Objects in 'Of Skepticism with Regard to the Senses. Hume Studies 33 (1):67-90.
James Baillie (2000). Hume on Morality. Routledge.
Added to index2010-09-12
Total downloads24 ( #101,479 of 1,696,456 )
Recent downloads (6 months)9 ( #61,625 of 1,696,456 )
How can I increase my downloads?