Journal of the History of Ideas 39 (4):653 - 663 (1978)

Abstract
HUME’S PHILOSOPHICAL SUBVERSION OF RELIGION, NATURAL AND REVEALED, WAS LIFELONG: THE "RELIGIOUS HYPOTHESIS" IS EMPTY. SO I HAVE ARGUED IN A NEW READING OF THE "DIALOGUES". THE ONLY HOPE FOR HUMANITY LIES IN MAN HIMSELF. HUME DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN THE "VULGAR" AND THE "ENLIGHTENED." AT THE APEX OF THE "ENLIGHTENED" STAND THE "HEROES IN PHILOSOPHY," OF WHOM ONLY GALILEO AND NEWTON ARE SPECIFIED. THE "ENLIGHTENED" PROVIDE LEADERSHIP AND KNOWLEDGE, A DUTY WE MAY VIEW AS THE "RELIGION OF MAN." QUITE POSSIBLY HUME CONSIDERED HIMSELF THE THIRD "HERO IN PHILOSOPHY." EVIDENCE IS PROVIDED BY HIS TRIUMPHAL RECEPTION IN PARIS, 1763-1765: "THEY CONSIDER ME AS ONE OF THE GREATEST GENIUSES IN THE WORLD." THUS THE "RELIGION OF MAN" IRONICALLY CONSTITUTES HUME’S PERSONAL RELIGION
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DOI 10.2307/2709448
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