Humean Eyes ('one particular shade of blue')

Angela Coventry
Portland State University
Why do Humean eyes matter? The subject of David Hume’s eyes and face leads us into some unexpected curiosities connected with events in his life and written works. We outline the scholars’ propensity to describe the face of their favourite philosopher and spread upon it their personal reading of his life and writings. We ask questions about portraits, their resemblance to the original as a standard of beauty. We survey eighteenth-century physiognomy, and the humourous paradox of the “fat philosopher,” both clumsy and refined. We inquire into Hume’s use of physiognomy, his views on corpulence and his own vacant look. We observe the role of Ramsay’s portraits in the 1766 dispute between Rousseau and Hume. We outline the role the eyes play in the body of his written work. We finally recall that the picture which he deemed the “best likeness” has now disappeared. Yet, there remains something still engraved.
Keywords Hume  physiognomy
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 42,204
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

David Hume and Eighteenth-Century America.Mark G. Spencer - 2005 - University of Rochester Press.
A Test: Hume's Missing Shade of Blue.Jonathan Finch - 2015 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (3):219-228.
Hume's Missing Shade of Blue.Daniel E. Flage - 1997 - Modern Schoolman 75 (1):55-63.
Hume's Missing Shade of Blue Re-Viewed.John O. Nelson - 1989 - Hume Studies 15 (2):353-363.
Two Portraits of the Humean Moral Agent.Kate Abramson - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):301–334.
Hume's Missing Shade of Blue.John Morreall - 1982 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42 (March):407-415.
Hume and the Missing Shade of Blue.Robert J. Fogelin - 1984 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 45 (December):263-272.
Could There Be a Humean Sex-Neutral General Idea of Man?Bat-Ami Bar On - 1987 - Philosophy Research Archives 13:367-377.


Added to PP index

Total views
7 ( #860,972 of 2,253,751 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #790,633 of 2,253,751 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature