Religion and the external world -- Projection, religion, and the external world -- The senses, reason and the imagination -- Realism, meaning and justification : the external world and religious belief -- Modality, projection and realism -- 'Our profound ignorance' : causal realism, and the failure to detect necessity -- Spreading the mind : projection, necessity and realism -- Into the labyrinth : persons, modality, and Hume's undoing -- Value, projection, and realism -- Gilding : projection, value and secondary qualities (...) -- The gold : good, evil, belief and desire -- The golden : relational values, realism and a moral sense. (shrink)
Hume's 'Natural History of Religion' offers a naturalized account of the causes of religious thought, an investigation into its 'origins' rather than its 'foundation in reason'. Hume thinks that if we consider only the causes of religious belief, we are provided with a reason to suspend the belief. I seek to explain why this is so, and what role the argument plays in Hume's wider campaign against the rational acceptability of religious belief. In particular, I argue that the work threatens (...) a form of fideism which maintains that it is rationally permissible to maintain religious belief in the absence of evidence or of arguments in its favour. I also discuss the 'argument from common consent', and the relative superiority of Hume's account of the origins of religious belief. (shrink)
This chapter provides summaries of the chapter of this book and introduces the major themes and debates addressed in the volume. Discussed are Nietzsche’s metaphysics; his philosophy of mind in light of contemporary views; the question of panpsychism of Beyond Good and Evil 36; the rejection of dualism in favour of monism, in particular a monism of value; Nietzsche’s positions on consciousness and embodied cognition in light of recent cognitive science; a conception of freedom and agency based on an intrinsically (...) motivating; embodied sense of self-efficacy; a Nietzschean account of valuing understood as drive-induced affective orientations of which an agent approves; the idea of ressentiment conceived as a process of intentional, not reflectively strategic, self-deception about one’s own conscious mental states; and a defence of a Nietzschean naturalism. (shrink)
This paper discusses the metaphor of projection in relation to Hume’s treatment of causal necessity. I argue that the best understanding of projection shows it to be compatible with taking Hume to be a ‘sceptical realist’ about causal necessity, albeit an agnostic one.
Impressions of Hume collects brand-new essays from leading scholars in different philosophical, historiographical, and literary traditions within which Hume is a canonical figure. To some his writings are vehicles for intuitions, problems, and arguments which are at the center of contemporary philosophical reflection; others locate Hume's views against the background of concerns and debates of his own time. Hume's texts may be read as highly sophisticated literary-cum-philosophical creations, or as moments in the construction of the ideology of modernity; these are (...) "open" texts which present their reader with a bounty of different materials and inspirations. (shrink)
This paper examines the ramifications of Hume's view of the relation of conceivability to metaphysical possibility. It argues that the limitations Hume places of the representations involved in moves to conceivability to metaphysical possibility preclude any straightforward argument against full-blooded causal realism in Hume from conceivability. Furthermore, our finding certain states of affairs conceivable when they are not metaphysically possible is perfectly compatible with the thrust of the causal realist position.
This is a review essay of Richman and Read (eds.) _The New Hume Debate (London: Routledge, 2000). The essay is highly critical of how the debate concerning whether Hume is a causal realist is presently conceived by its opponents, and argues in favour of a _New Hume position.
Traditionally Hume is seen as offering an 'empiricist' critique of 'rationalism'. This view is often illustrated -- or rejected -- by comparing Hume's views with those of Descartes'. However the textual evidence shows that Hume's most sustained engagement with a canonical 'rationalist' is with Nicolas Malebranche. The author shows that the fundamental differences (among the many similarities) between the two on the self and causal power do indeed rest on a principled distinction between 'rationalism' and 'empiricism', and that there is (...) some truth in the traditional story. This, however, is very far from saying that Hume's general orientation is an attack on something called 'rationalism'. (shrink)
He is the darling of naturalism or the bogeyman of scepticism, a friend to virtue or an unwitting party to incipient nihilism. He is politically conservative, or a liberator from old views. He is a fideist, an advocate of faith over reason, or a precursor of Richard Dawkins.
This paper discusses some key connections between Berkeley's reflections on language in the introduction to his Treatise on the Principles of Human Knowledge and the doctrines espoused in the body of that work, in particular his views on vulgar causal discourse and his response to the objection that his metaphysics imputes massive error to ordinary thought. I argue also that there is some mileage in the view that Berkeley's thought might be an early form of non-cognitivism.
The title of my book, Projection and Realism in Hume's Philosophy, might mislead. One might protest, with some justification, that since neither "projection" nor "realism" is Hume's term and that both carry a severe threat of anachronism, discussing them in connection with Hume is misguided. Why might the readers of this journal wish to read such a work?Well, the first thing to note is that Hume's name has come to be associated with the metaphor of projection, understood as having some (...) kind of "non-realist" connotations, and, at the same time, he attracted readings that make him a "realist" of some sort or another in different areas.1 So, there seems to be some tension here.. (shrink)
This paper discusses a number of different aspects of Moore’s reading of Hume as engaged in the metaphysics of ‘sense-making’. After a brief discussion of the semantic strains, I turn to consider Moore’s views of Hume on epistemic ‘sense-making’ where I criticize Moore’s reading of Hume’s epistemology as assimilated to the more basic natural process of human beings. I consider some of the ways in which Moore thinks that Hume is involved in a positive metaphysical project.
This article analyses the conception of virtue and vice in early modern Europe. It explains that there were two movements in conceptions of virtue during this period. The first is the Cartesian tradition wherein virtue is intimately related to the control of the passions and the other is the continuation of this theme in Britain in a more aesthetic version. This article describes how the concepts of virtue and vice were softened by an awakening interest in the social emotions and (...) in the relationship between moral goodness and happiness. (shrink)
This paper discusses what the function of the aesthetic sense is for Hutcheson, and how its function bears on a number of exegetical issues viz. Whether there is any possibility of objectivity within the scope of the theory and what the status of his analogy between secondary qualities and beauty actually amounts to. I argue that the aesthetic sense is analogous to a prevalent account of bodily sensations, which saw bodily sensation as having the function jointly signalling and eliciting motivational (...) dispositions toward features that are harmful or beneficial to the body. The aesthetic sense is supposed to motivate us toward gaining knowledge of the world, and allows for a standard of taste relative to its function. The paper is a complement to my 'Hutcheson's Moral Sense', History of Philosophy Quarterly (forthcoming 2001). (shrink)
This chapter discusses various conceptions of moral judgment during the eighteenth century in Britain. It begins with a characterization of moral rationalism that centres on Samuel Clarke and John Locke. It then discusses moral sentimentalism or moral sense theory, which is associated with Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume, portraying it partly as a reaction to moral rationalism but also as a response to the perceived positions of Hobbes and Mandeville. The chapter then discusses the position of Joseph Butler, Adam Smith’s sophisticated (...) version of sympathy and sentimentalism, and the theories of Richard Price and Thomas Reid, both of which rejected sentimentalism. (shrink)
I am extremely grateful to all my commentators for their very careful engagement with my book.1 Some disagreements, I think, may stem from my failure to be sufficiently clear and so are only apparent. Other objections are not and seem to be spot on. I will not be able to give fully adequate answers to all the objections, since some require sustained discussion of some very fundamental issues that is simply impossible in this forum.Schliesser's comments concern my discussion of philosophical (...) and natural relations and their connection with reason, and my reading of Hume's attitude regarding the external world.In my reading of "reason" in Hume I make some abstract distinctions. We can think of reason as a. (shrink)
George Berkeley's Principles of Human Knowledge is a crucial text in the history of empiricism and in the history of philosophy more generally. Its central and seemingly astonishing claim is that the physical world cannot exist independently of the perceiving mind. The meaning of this claim, the powerful arguments in its favour, and the system in which it is embedded, are explained in a highly lucid and readable fashion and placed in their historical context. Berkeley's philosophy is, in part, a (...) response to the deep tensions and problems in the new philosophy of the early modern period and the reader is offered an account of this intellectual milieu. The book then follows the order and substance of the Principles whilst drawing on materials from Berkeley's other writings. This volume is the ideal introduction to Berkeley's Principles and will be of great interest to historians of philosophy in general. (shrink)