New essays on David Hume [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 473-474 (2009)
Organized by the Italian Research Group on the British Enlightenment, this collection provides insight into the many different aspects of David Hume's philosophy. The book comprises a total of twenty-one articles that take diverse approaches to Hume's epistemology, morals, politics, history, and religion, and is divided into four sections: "Of the understanding," "Of morals and criticism," "Of history, politics and religion," and "Hume novelties." Due to limitations of space, all the articles cannot be addressed here; I will instead discuss those articles that touch on areas of research that have not been much explored recently, or that provide new approaches to old issues in Hume scholarship.The first section contains six articles on Hume's epistemology. The opening article, "Kemp Smith and the Two Kinds of Naturalism in Hume's Philosophy," by John P. Wright, provides a very suggestive revision of the long-held debate on Kemp Smith's reading of Hume's theory of belief as a form of naturalism. Wright claims that Kemp Smith's allegation of the influence of Hutcheson and Newton on Hume's theory of association of ideas is problematic, and that a rather Malebranchean motive lies beneath it.
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