Hume’ Passions: Direct and Indirect

Hume Studies 26 (1):77-86 (2000)
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Book II of the Treatise minutely anatomizes the passions Hume dubbed “indirect.” As the account of pride, humility, love, and hatred unfolds, principles are uncovered, causes are exhaustively examined, experiments carried out, difficulties presented and solved. The barrage of detailed description and theorizing threatens to overwhelm even the most devoted of readers. By contrast, Hume’s explicit treatment of the direct passions appears perfunctory. Indeed, Hume states: “None of the direct affections seem to merit our particular attention except hope and fear.” Desire and aversion, though usually mentioned first as examples of the direct passions, receive no separate analysis.



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Jane L. McIntyre
Cleveland State University

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