Russian Sociological Review 14 (3):9-47 (2015)

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Abstract
The main goal of the article is to reconstruct the conceptual bases of the original sociological project contained in David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature. The core of Humean sociology is a meticulously designed doctrine of passions. The foci of the Humean doctrine of passions are the questions of influences observed between the emotional component of human nature and the multiple forms of human actions. According to David Hume, the faculty of imagination, which operates on ideas, is not by itself able to supply a set of regular and uniform practices for an agent. The real foundations for any agent’s habitual form of action are always emotions and passions. The influences of emotions and passions on an agent have various natures: emotions as the primary impressions initiate actions performed by an agent, and passions, as secondary impressions, put these activities into a regular and uniform shape. These very passions define the nature and structure of an agent’s habits, avoiding the traditional logical difficulties in solving the riddle of induction. A habit does not arise as a simple result from the multiple performances of these or that actions, but it is formed by predilections of an agent of activity. Against the backgrounds of a burgeoning interest in contemporary social sciences and a variety of practice-oriented theories and concepts, Humean sociology finds a new theoretical practicality, demonstrating the strength of its arguments and the ability to become a new important source of conceptual intuitions in the social sciences.
Keywords David Hume   emotion   passion   habit   riddle of induction   action theory   theory of practice
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DOI dx.doi.org/10.17323-1728-192X-2015-3-9-47
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