Journal of Scottish Philosophy 3 (19):243–259 (2021)

In the Fragment on Evil, Hume announces that he “shall not employ any rhetoric in a philosophical argument, where reason alone ought to be hearkened to.” To employ the rhetorical strategy, in the context of the Fragment, just is to “enumerate all the evils, incident to human life, and display them, with eloquence, in their proper colours.” However, in Part 11 of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Hume employs precisely this rhetorical strategy. I discuss three interpretations that might account for Hume’s decision to employ the strategy in the Dialogues but not the Fragment. The heart of this discussion concerns the relationship between reason and rhetoric. The Dialogues can be understood as part of the education of Pamphilus. Consequently, the three interpretations align with three ways of understanding the roles that reason and rhetoric play in Hume’s views on pedagogy and education (or more specifically, Philo’s attitude towards the education of Pamphilus).
Keywords David Hume  Fragment on Evil  Rhetoric  Education
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

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hume's Rhetorical Strategy: Three Views.Daryl Ooi - 2021 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 19 (3):243–259.
Hume's Fragment on Evil.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Hume Studies 47 (1):39-53.
Hume and Hume's Connexions.Michael Alexander Stewart & John P. Wright (eds.) - 1995 - Pennsylvania State University Press.
Hume, Causation and Counterfactuals.Joshua Anderson - 2019 - Humanites Bulletin 2 (1):36-49.
Mysticism, Evil, and Cleanthes’ Dilemma.C. M. Lorkowski - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 76 (1):36-48.
Hume's Use of the Rhetoric of Calvinism.James A. Harris - 2005 - In Marina Frasca-Spada & P. J. E. Kail (eds.), Impressions of Hume. Oxford University Press. pp. 141--159.
The Absence of God and Its Contextual Significance for Hume.David Fergusson - 2013 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 11 (1):69-85.
Hume’s Concealed Attack on Religion and His Early Critics.James Fieser - 1995 - Journal of Philosophical Research 20:431-449.


Added to PP index

Total views
73 ( #161,176 of 2,533,625 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
22 ( #40,583 of 2,533,625 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes