What's True about Hume's 'True Religion'?

Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (2):199-220 (2012)
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Despite his well-known criticisms of popular religion, Hume refers in seemingly complimentary terms to ‘true religion’; in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, his character Philo goes so far as to express ‘veneration for’ it. This paper addresses three questions. First, did Hume himself really approve of something that he called ‘true religion’? Second, what did he mean by calling it ‘true’? Third, what did he take it to be? By appeal to some of his key doctrines about causation and probability, and to some key features of the characters and content of the Dialogues, I argue, contrary to important recent interpretations by Immerwahr and Falkenstein, that Hume's ‘true religion’ is a doctrine, enunciated by Philo, that he regarded as true in an epistemic sense



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Author's Profile

Don Garrett
New York University

Citations of this work

True religion in Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.Tim Black & Robert Gressis - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (2):244-264.
Imaginability, Possibility, and the Puzzle of Imaginative Resistance.Janet Levin - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):391-421.
Adam Smith on the ‘Natural Principles of Religion’.Ryan Patrick Hanley - 2015 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (1):37-53.
Hume and Smith on Natural Religion.Gordon Graham - 2016 - Philosophy 91 (3):345-360.

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References found in this work

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume - 1751 - New York,: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp.
Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary.David Hume - 1875 - Indianapolis: Liberty Press. Edited by Eugene F. Miller.
Hume.Don Garrett - 2015 - New York: Routledge.
Dialogues concerning natural religion.David Hume - 2007 - In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Late modern philosophy: essential readings with commentary. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 338-339.
An enquiry concerning human understanding: a critical edition.David Hume - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp.

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