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

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
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Slaves of the Passions.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Hume and the Mechanics of Mind : Impressions, Ideas, and Association.David Owen - 2009 - In David Fate Norton & Jacqueline Anne Taylor (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Cambridge University Press.
Passion and Volition in Hume's "Treatise".Maurice Lemont Wade - 1982 - Dissertation, Stanford University
Hume’s Empiricism and the Rationality of Induction.João Paulo Monteiro - 2000 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 7:139-149.
Moral Theory and the Passions.Charlotte Randall Brown - 1983 - Dissertation, Yale University
Political Philosophy, Human Nature, the Passions.R. M. Mcshea - 1986 - History of Political Thought 7 (1):205.
The Function and Intentionality of Cartesian Émotions.Abel B. Franco - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (3):277-319.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #605,098 of 2,498,557 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,098 of 2,498,557 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes