Review of Metaphysics 38 (3):670-671 (1985)

In 1941 Norman Kemp Smith argued that Hume was not a sceptic but a proponent of a doctrine of natural belief. He supported this thesis by saying that Hume embraced Hutcheson's doctrine of the the subordination of reason to passion in the area of morals and extended it to all matters of belief. Against this unified interpretation Norton contends that there are in effect two Humes: a sceptic in matters of belief but not a sceptic in moral matters. Norton develops his interpretation through historical research on the problems to which Hume was responding in his philosophical writings. The first Hume opposed the Hobbesian negation of real moral standards with his positive, commonsense based moral theory; the second Hume opposed the dogmatisms of his day with a thoroughgoing philosophical scepticism.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph198538337
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