A general problem of philosophy concerns the possibility of objective knowledge of other cultures (including past cultures), and the adequacy of their reconstruction. The problem of cultural development is also crucial. In this paper, I argue that a culture which has expanded its potentialities in various independent forms is an open culture capable of entering into dialogue with other cultures.
'The world is tragically splendid in its fragmentedness. Its harmony lies in its disharmony, its unity in its enmity. Such is the paradoxical doctrine of Heraclitus, subsequently paradoxically developed by Friedrich Nietzsche into the theory of 'tragic optimism."'.
The traditional image of northern Iberian mountain settlements is that they are largely egalitarian, homogeneous, and survivals of archaic forms of 'agrarian collectivism'. In this book, based both on extensive fieldwork and detailed study of local records, Brian Juan O'Neill offers a different perspective, questioning prevailing views on both empirical as well as theoretical and methodological grounds. Through a detailed examination of three major areas of social life - land tenure, cooperative labour exchanges, and marriage and inheritance practices - in (...) one particular hamlet, the author demonstrates the predominance of forms of institutionalized economic inequality and social differentiation within the peasantry. Situating the local study within a wider European and Mediterranean ethnographic and geographical framework, O'Neill offers a refreshing and challenging way of combining the research methods of anthropology with those of social and economic history. His book will appeal to anthropologists, historians, sociologists, geographers and demographers interested in the present and past social structure of European village communities, as well as to those concerned with the growing links between anthropology and history. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWhile in the 1960s Allan Bloom suggested to read William Shakespeare’s works through the prism of political philosophy, a decade earlier Carl Schmitt used the works of English poet in a reverse way: he read political philosophy and history through Shakespeare. Deprived – under the influence of Leo Strauss – from the possibility of considering Thomas Hobbes a decisionist thinker, Schmitt in his ‘Hamlet or Hecuba’ used Shakespeare’s most famous work to interpret origins of disappearance of the state of (...) emergency from English soil. Shakespeare was seen by Schmitt as a writer who captured the Sixteenth and seventeenth century changes in thinking about sovereignty and the state. Interestingly, Schmitt did not use Shakespeare as method for the first time: in first decades of twentieth century, in his diary, he made ‘Othello’ a prism through which he read his love life. Because the author of ‘The Concept of the Political’ is one of the less methodologically cohesive writers of twentieth century, his usage of Shakespeare twice, in different circumstances, is interesting. In an article, author links ‘Hamlet or Hecuba’ with Schmitt’s geopolitical works and presents Shakespeare’s works as the coherent method of interpretation in Schmitt’s philosophy of decisionism. (shrink)
This article explores the contradictory nature of the ghost in Hamlet and shows how Shakespeare seeks to manipulate the reader’s response in Hamlet by using contradictions and ambiguities. The article also explores the ways in which the reader responds to these contradictions and reconstructs a palpable world in the impalpable world of the text. These contradictions compel the reader to participate in the composition of the text and make him keep changing his own approach to the work with (...) the result that the more he reads the play, the deeper he finds himself entrenched in contradictions. As he fails to grasp the logic of events, the reader relates his own world to the text instead of relating the events of the text to his world and recreates his own world. Therefore, he can easily detach himself from the text and let his imagination run loose as the play proves too vague for him to comprehend. In reading Hamlet, the imagination runs wild and travels far beyond the text to an extent where the reader perceives things, which stand not within but utterly outside the text. Eventually, the reality achieved by the reader in the course of reading the play is only the reality which dwells in the innermost recesses of his mind. (shrink)
In his sixth seminar, Desire and Its Interpretation (1956–1957), Lacan patiently elaborates his theory of the ‘phantasm’ ($◊a), in which the object of desire (object small a) is ascribed a constitutive role in the architecture of the libidinal subject. In that seminar, Lacan shows his fascination for an aphorism of the twentieth century Christian mystic Simone Weil in her assertion: “to ascertain exactly what the miser whose treasure was stolen lost: thus we would learn much.” This is why, in his (...) theory, Lacan conceptualizes the object of desire as the unconsumed treasure—and, in that sense, the “nothing”—on which the miser’s desire is focused. But the more Lacan develops his new object theory, the more he realizes how close it is to Christian mysticism in locating the ultimate object of desire in God, in a sevenfold “nothing” (to quote the famous last step in the ascent of the Mount Carmel as described by John of the Cross). An analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet allows Lacan to escape the Christian logic and to rearticulate the object of desire in an ‘unchristian’ tragic grammar. When he replaces the miser by the lover as paradigm of the subject’s relation to its object of desire, he substitutes a strictly Greek kind of love—eros, not agape—for the miser’s relationship to his treasure. Even when, in the late Lacan, “love” becomes a proper concept, its structure remains deeply “tragic.”. (shrink)
If Hamlet had not delayed his revenge there would have been no play. Many explanations of the delay have been offered in the last four centuries. None is convincing. The interpretation which best fits the evidence best is that Hamlet was suffering from an acute depressive illness, with some obsessional features. He could not make a firm resolve to act. In Shakespeare’s time there was no concept of acute depressive illness, although melancholy was well known. Melancholy, however, would (...) have been seen as a character defect. In the tragic model the hero brings himself and others to ruin because of a character defect. Thus, at the time, the play conformed to the tragic model. With today’s knowledge, it does not. This analysis adds to, but does not replace, other insights into the play. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to show the role, the possibilities and the limits of Wyspiański’s national thinking through Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Of particular importance, in this context, is the role the Ghost takes in Wyspiański’s celebrated interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. By the Ghost we mean the spirit of history, the ghost of a father, the spirit of the fatherland, the voice of the ancestors, and particularly that of the Polish king Casimir the Great, as well as the (...) Holy Ghost and the Evil Spirit because all these aspects of the Ghost belong to Wyspiański’s vision. The play in question bears witness to what the Polish poet calls “the truth of other worlds,” as well as the truth of the theatre, which Wyspiański calls the labyrinth. The poet manages to reduce, to some extent, this difficult truth to the truth of the world he cared most about, that is the present and historical reality of Poland, more specifically the city of Cracow, known as Poland’s spiritual, that is “ghostly,” and only virtual, capital. It is also remarkable that Wyspiański saw the Ghost in Hamlet in the context of other Shakespearean ghosts, apparitions and magicians, such as those that appear in Macbeth, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Richard III. At the same time, Wyspiański realizes that the Ghost, with its irrationalism, offends the spirit of post-medieval times, and as such, is understandably neglected by Hamlet, who for Wyspiański, in anticipation of Harold Bloom, stands for modernity. (shrink)
Every day doctors bear witness to others about the experiences, needs and feelings of their patients, drawing on what they have learnt from clinical consultations. This paper considers the medical task of bearing honourable and truthful witness through an examination of the role and actions of Horatio in Hamlet. Horatio is simultaneously located among the background machinery of the play, separate from the lives of the protagonists, and in the foreground, where his authoritative witness is repeatedly called upon by (...) the play's characters. Horatio is invited to watch an unfolding disaster, his warnings are not heard, and at its conclusion he stands apart from the drama to give its account. The tensions between engagement and observation, and between partial and impartial accounting echo those faced by doctors in everyday clinical practice. The act of bearing witness, Shakespeare suggests, even for those who are tasked with being objective, is necessarily imperfect, and not dispassionate. Those people, including doctors, who are expected to construct authoritative accounts of the motives and actions of others may find in Hamlet a small lesson on the need to approach their summary narratives about others more humbly, aware of the narrowness and partiality of their perspective. (shrink)
“To be” or “to be found”? Some contributions relative to this modern variant of Hamlet's question are presented here. They aim at better apprehending the differences between the points of view of the physicists who consider that present-day quantum measurement theories do reach their objective and those who deny they do. It is pointed out that these two groups have different interpretations of the verbs “to be” and “to have” and of the criterion for truth. These differences are made (...) explicit. A notion of “empirical reality” is constructed within the representation of which the physicists of the first named group can consistently uphold their claim. A detailed way of sharpening this definition so as to make empirical reality free of nonlocal actions at a distance is also described. (shrink)
Christopher Tilmouth's wide-ranging study of Early Modern ideas of the passions explores a series of philosophical authors in relation to poets and dramatists of the period 1580 to 1680. Aristotle, Aquinas, Augustine, and Hobbes receive detailed treatment here, alongside Spenser's Faerie Queene, Hamlet and Julius Caesar, the lyrics of Herbert and Crashaw, and Milton's Paradise Lost. Central to this innovative exploration of literary-philosophical relations is a comprehensive reappraisal of the works of the Earl of Rochester.
The belief that the spirits of the dead can return to haunt the living exists either as a tenet or as a marginal conviction in all civilizations, whether ancient or modern. More often than not, the dead do not return to reunite the living with their loved ones but rather to lead them into some dreadful snare, entrapping them with disastrous consequences. To be sure, all the departed may return, but some are predestined to haunt: the dead who have been (...) shamed during their lifetime or those who took unspeakable secrets to the grave. From the brucolacs, the errant sprits of outcasts in ancient Greece, to the ghost of Hamlet’s vengeful father, and on down to the rapping spirits of modern times, the theme of the dead—who, having suffered repression by their family or society, cannot enjoy, even in death, a state of authenticity—appears to be omnipresent on the fringes of religions and, failing that, in rational systems. It is a fact that the “phantom,” whatever its form, is nothing but an invention of the living. Yes, an invention in the sense that the phantom is meant to objectify, even if under the guise of individual or collective hallucinations, the gap that the concealment of some part of a loved one’s life produced in us. The phantom is, therefore, also a metapsychological fact. Consequently, what haunts are not the dead, but the gaps left within us by the secrets of others.Because the phantom is not related to the loss of a loved one, it cannot be considered the effect of unsuccessful mourning, as is the case of melancholics or of all those who carry a tomb within themselves. It is the children’s or descendants’ lot to objectify these buried tombs through diverse species of ghosts. What comes back to haunt are the tombs of others. The phantoms of folklore merely objectify a metaphor active within the unconscious: the burial of an unspeakable fact within the loved one.Here we are in the midst of clinical psychoanalysis and still shrouded in obscurity, an obscurity, however, that the nocturnal being of phantoms can, paradoxically, be called upon to clarify. The most recently published book of essays by Nicolas Abraham is Rythmes de l’oeuvre, de la traduction et de la psychanalyse . “Notes on the Phantom” is the preliminary statement of his theory of transgenerational haunting. Nicholas Rand, assistant professor of French at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, is the English-language editor of Abraham’s works. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to explore why Deleuze takes up Hamlet's claim that ‘time is out of joint’. In the first part of this paper, I explore this claim by looking at how Deleuze relates it to Plato's Timaeus and its conception of the relationship between movement and time. Once we have seen how time functions when it is ‘in joint’, I explore what it would mean for time to no longer be understood in terms of an (...) underlying rational structure. The claim can be understood as about a relationship between time and action. In the second part of this paper, I want to relate this new understanding of time to Hamlet itself, in order to see how temporality operates within the play. I will conclude by relating these two different conceptions of time out of joint to one another through Nietzsche's eternal return. (shrink)
Hundred years ago, vernacular architecture once triumphed. Unfortunately, poverty and low education bring people facing difficulties in understanding their own culture, building techniques, and village management. This problem then leads them to a bigger issue regarding the alteration of culture and traditional architecture. Among all vernacular architecture in Indonesia, Sasak traditional architecture is one of the unique architectures that still exist until now. However, globalization issue leads the alteration of vernacular architecture includes Sasak tribe culture and traditional village in Lombok (...) island, including the traditional houses. This paper takes Sade Traditional Hamlet as a research subject to provide a deeper understanding of the importance of cultural values of Sasak’s living space and settlement. This research shows that the living space and culture of the Sasak tribe in Sade hamlet has evolved and transformed due to the space necessity and financial ability. Among the total 68 houses, 55.8% are the original houses of Sasak people in Sade hamlet, Bale Tani, 38.2% are the traditional modified houses, Bale Bontar, and 6% are the transitional houses, Bale Kodong. Gradually, Bale Tani change to Bale Bontar house. However, Bale Tani could still be preserved by the system of pattern relatives in the family and awiq-awiq as customary law. A deeper understanding of the house preservation, traditional material, and cultural values of Bale Tani should be taken to create a sustainable conservation method. (shrink)
ExcerptCarl Schmitt's Hamlet or Hecuba (1956) is a peculiar text. For one, it stands out as the only detailed interpretation of a literary work that Schmitt ever produced. This is not to deny Schmitt's overall erudition and familiarity with Western literature nor his particular interest in the intricate relationship between aesthetics and politics, all of which can be traced throughout his writings from the 1910s to the 1950s. But the fact remains that apart from Hamlet or Hecuba, Schmitt (...) did not employ close readings of literary texts as a means to elaborate on his politico-philosophical ideas. Hamlet or Hecuba is…. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis essay introduces the notion of a literary clinical practice for which it remains essential to continue to consider those texts that open up a place for a readership, or audience, or even a civilization to consider the endlessly generative failure of its literature to write mental health. Concerned with mental illness that is an effect of language on the subject, the body, and of the enigma of the truth as cause, psychoanalysis is the crucial interlocutor for any literary clinical (...) concern with the maladies of literature and society. In order to re-assess the utility of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to contemporary problems such as depression – perhaps the dominant symptom of our time – this essay attempts a reconsideration of Jacques Lacan’s famous seminar on Hamlet from the perspective of the contemporary clinic of the Lacanian orientation in psychoanalysis led by Jacques-Alain Miller. (shrink)
There is no religion that does not start from the premise that “something is rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark,” to make use of Hamlet’s suggestive expression:mankind has lost its connection with the principle of its being and disharmony has ensued. This state of affairs, that religion claims to remedy, may be deemed toresult from a sense of radical “otherness” symbolized, in the Abrahamic traditions, by the loss of the blissful unity and proximity of terrestrial paradise. In this paper (...) we propose to show that the Islamic concept of ridā, particularly as it has been conceptualized and practiced in Sufism, is none other than both the means and the end of this re-connection with God and human beings as acceptance of “otherness.” The Quranic idea of Divine ridwān provides both the transcendent model and the infinite counterpart of this human virtue of acceptance. (shrink)
The play's the thing,"1 Hamlet says in act 2, scene 2 of Shakespeare's finest tragedy. Hamlet is referring here to the forthcoming performance of The Mousetrap, the play that he has asked the newly arrived players to perform that evening in the presence of his mother and uncle. "The play's the thing," Hamlet says, "Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King". But it is not confirmation of his uncle's guilt as the murderer of his father that (...)Hamlet really needs or ultimately receives from this piece of theater he has asked be performed but rather the clarification and redemption of his own confused and violent psyche.Hamlet is a character who spends the first two acts of Shakespeare's play alternately... (shrink)
The writings of Stanley Cavell and Jacques Derrida share many points of intersection. One of these is their mutual interest in Shakespeare’s Hamlet; another is their assessments of J.L. Austin’s philosophy, and his concept of performativity. In this paper, we demonstrate that Cavell’s and Derrida’s respective essays on Hamlet offer a surprising insight into their views on Austin’s notion of performativity. Since Hamlet abounds with oaths and promises, testimonies and bearing witness, what is surprising is not that (...) these philosophers should have identified this theme but rather how they respond to it. We show that Derrida’s writings on Hamlet repeatedly draw and depend on the idea of performativity, amounting to a rapprochement with Austin’s concept; and we also show that Cavell questions the effectiveness of performatives in the play, in ways that sometimes resemble Derrida’s invocation of spectrality in the play. (shrink)
Reflecting on the debts collected by Shoshana Felman's work, within the theoretical contexts of the time in which the 1977 Yale French Studies issue of ‘Psychoanalysis and Literature’ first appeared, this article takes as its point of departure Lacan's analysis of Hamlet's father as the barred Other, focusing on Hamlet's ‘complaint’. The nature of the complaint is then explored in relation to various writers and thinkers — Rilke, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Heidegger, among others — and more specifically via a (...) reading of François Roustang's La Fin de la plainte, and his own interpretations of Freudian narcissism. Scanning the wreckage for which the little narcissists are responsible, the article aims to give more insight into the structuring principles of those who whine incessantly. (shrink)
In his seminar on 'Desire and its Interpretation' Lacan gives a detailed interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. We present this interpretation as an alternative to the psychobiographic approach which has been dominant in the psychoanalytic tradition. According to Lacan Hamlet is a poetic creation and nothing else. In order to understand it wedon't have to look at the unconscious motives of the author, but at the composition of the text. The deliberate articulation of the signifier accounts for the effect (...) of the play on its readers. According to Lacan Hamlet is a tragedy of desire that informs us onthe truth of human existence. It also shows how we can get access to this truth. In that sense Shakespeare's text can, according to Lacan, also learn us something about the aim of the psychoanalytic process. The conclusion argues that Lacan's interpretation of the nature of the psychoanalytic process is heavily dependent on the phenomenological tradition and more particularly that it ressembles the problematic of the 'phenomenological reduction'. (shrink)
ExcerptThe great dramatic work of art that bears the name Hamlet is, in the core of its action and the main character, nothing other than the dramatized story of a real king named James, James Stuart, son of Mary Stuart and her husband. James's father was murdered, and his mother married the murderer shortly afterward. What Mary Stuart, the mother of King James, did was bad, almost as bad “As kill a king, and marry his brother.” Shakespeare's Hamlet (...) drama is grounded then in a direct relation to the times. It contains the kind of dramatization that results from participation…. (shrink)
This essay examines the place of love in grief, staging a relation between a mourner and her lover. Taking as its point of departure Freud's observation that mourning leads to a ‘loss of the capacity to love’, it considers the effects bereavement might have on the bereaved's relations with those that love them, and the possibilities, pitfalls and ethics of care in such a context. This is explored largely through a reading of Roland Barthes's late work, as well as ideas (...) drawn from Sigmund Freud, Melanie Klein, Sara Ahmed, Hamlet and personal observation. Love and care are thought through alongside notions of ‘tact’, ‘benevolence’ and ‘parrying against reduction’ in late Barthes. (shrink)
A partir de una lectura de Hamlet el autor plantea la relación entre el regicidio y el desorden natural, tal como lo entendieron la filosofía política medieval y su transito a la filosofía del Renacimiento. Se indaga en el vínculo de la locura, el extravío dramático y la deriva política, y sus implicancias en la visión moral del mundo presente en la obra. Esta lectura teatral de la política sitúa el problema de la dialéctica ocultación/de-velación de los textos, como (...) un asunto central de la modernidad. Estrategia y táctica están en la base de la actuación de matriz hamletiana como primicia del paradigma renacentista de gobierno y de la teoría moderna del Príncipe, aunque paradojalmente el drama de Hamlet lo viva providencialmente, como expresión del deseo universal de Dios. (shrink)
The term “spontaneous self-organisation” (SSO for short) is used to describe the emergence of an object or structure “by itself” within a dynamical system. While usage of the term will no doubt vary somewhat, in this paper I will take it to have three key features: 1. The appearance of the object does not require a special, “fine-tuned” initial state. 2. There is no need for interaction with an external system. 3. The object is likely to appear in a reasonably (...) short time. The first two conditions say that the object arises from the dynamics of the system alone, without any help. The third condition says that, for an object s to appear by spontaneous self-organisation, its appearance should not just a matter of dumb luck (e.g. a monkey with a typewriter just happening to produce Hamlet), nor just from waiting long enough (e.g. a monkey typing for long enough that Hamlet was likely to appear), or any combination of the two. What is “reasonably short” in this context? The time needed for spontaneous self-organisation should be much shorter than the expected time required to assemble the object purely at random from its components. Note that, for very large and intricate systems, the random-assembly time will be unimaginably vast, so that the appearance of such objects in merely billions of years will count as spontaneous self-organisation. (shrink)
The human soul is for pre-modern philosophers the cause of both thinking and life. This double aspect of the soul, which makes man a rational animal, expresses itself above all in human action. Deadly Thought: 'Hamlet' and the Human Soul traces Hamlet's famous inability to act to his inability to hold together these twin aspects of the soul.
As Shakespeare is closer in time and spirit to medieval psychology than to popular modern explanations of psyche, this article presents a fourfold analysis of ecstasy from Aquinas' Summa Theologiae to examine the characters of the play. I also suggest performance choices which make a variety of these ecstasies of soul more visible.
All people edit. We don't call it editing, of course. We call it thinking. Frogs think too. When a frog thinks'food', it looks for a moving dot; in a cage of dead flies, a frog starves to death. When something doesnot fit the category, it is not seen. Humans likewise. "Do you see nothing there?" Hamlet asks; "Nothingat all; yet all that is I see", Gertrude replies, exemplifying our difficulty with seeingthings not valued. The reason for such editing is (...) mental economy; given physiological computationallimits, operating with a limited set of categories and properties avoids cognitive paralysis. (shrink)
This is a small book on a large subject: What is special about human beings? Hamlet mused, ?What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how like a god!? but went on to speak of ?this quintessence of dust?. Helen Oppenheimer prefers to start with the dust and move to the glory: we really are animals ? and from these animals has come Shakespeare. People are indeed ?miserable sinners? ? and also magnificent creatures. The author does (...) not disguise that she is a Christian theologian whose subject is ethics, but she writes equally for non-Christians. Her invitation to the reader is: Here is a way of looking at things that I find exciting and convincing ? I hope you do too. (shrink)
This essay investigates the rôle of the North Atlantic as a silent actant in the dramatic economy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It takes the series of actions of Hamlet’s deportation by sea, his nocturnal transformation on board and his surprise return with the pirate ship as the axis around which the play turns. It examines the movement of deterritorialization and mimesis in the constitution of sovereignty by the ceaseless transference of piracy and inter-imperial rivalries and passages. Interpreting Hamlet (...) as being not just a play of nothingness and nihilism, born of and residing in the interstice of disjointed historical time, this essay argues that Hamlet is a play that inherits and inhabits the cranny of fractured historical space from Elizabethan to Jacobean England when the English isle became what Carl Schmitt called the “agency of the spatial turn to a new nomos of the earth.” The old nomos of the earth, terra firma in the Greco-Roman and feudal senses, was challenged by the new freedom of the sea which demanded a separate and distinct global order. This essay poses the question whether the dramatic economy of Hamlet as split by and revolving around the physical presence and symbolic charges of the North Atlantic in fact constitutes the irrhythm and mis-punctuation of this spatial turn toward a maritime modernity. (shrink)
This book assembles a team of leading literary scholars and philosophers to probe philosophical questions that assert themselves in Shakespeare's Hamlet, including issues about subjectivity, knowledge, sex, grief, and self-theatricalization.
This is an account of Ian Charleson's extraordinary performance in Richard Eyre's production of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The essay is divided into four parts: the original Hamlet in Eyre's production was Daniel Day-Lewis whose stirring but erratic portrayal strangely terminated in mid-performance; Ian Charleson's rehearsal process, including comments by actors and friends about his talent and courage in preparing for the role; Charleson's brilliant acting, his triumph in overcoming his physical weakness and ravaged appearance as he was dying of (...) AIDS; and personal memories of Charleson's November 3, 1989 performance. (shrink)
ExcerptIn recent years, there has been a renewed interest in political theology that is not restricted to certain strands of political philosophy but concerns the humanities as a whole. Conferences and collections put to the fore the question of if and how our modern culture is to be understood in terms—however modified or displaced—of political theology.1 Some of the authors pursuing this question try to define new directions, along the lines of Jean-Luc Nancy or Claude Lefort, who present very different (...) and more positive notions of political theology than those that had previously been discussed with respect to Carl Schmitt,…. (shrink)
In this study, Alan Paskow first asks why fictional characters, such as Hamlet and Anna Karenina, matter to us and how they emotionally affect us. He then applies these questions to painting, demonstrating that certain paintings beckon us to view their contents as real. As emblematic of the fundamental concerns of our lives, paintings, he argues, are not simply in our heads but in our world. Paskow also situates the phenomenological approach to the experience of painting in relation to (...) contemporary schools of thought, particularly Marxist, feminist, and deconstructionist. (shrink)
Resumen El presente artículo plantea la necesidad de un acercamiento histórico a los textos filosóficos tomando como ejemplo el caso de la propuesta ética de David Hume. Se muestra el interés de Hume por insertarse en el diálogo intelectual de su época y su propósito de integrar el método científico en las ciencias morales y cómo la crítica que hace a la razón debe ser comprendida bajo esta luz. Para ello se menciona el ambiente intelectual de la época y las (...) posturas en conflicto en el debate filosófico del siglo XVIII: el escepticismo-relativista, el racionalismo exagerado y el sentimentalismo ingenuo, señalando que, en el fondo, Hume no puede ser excluido totalmente de ninguna de estas posturas pero tampoco encasillado en alguna de ellas.This article raises the need of a historical approach to philosophical texts taking as an example the case of David Hume’s ethics proposal. It shows Hume`s interest in participating actively in the intellectual dialogue of his time and his intention to integrate the scientific method into the moral sciences and how his critique of reason must be understood in this light. To do this, we quickly mention the intellectual atmosphere of the time and the positions in conflict in the philosophical debate of the 18th Century: relativistic skepticism, radical rationalism and naive sentimentality, noting that, deep down, Hume cannot be excluded completely from any of these positions but not typecast in any of them. (shrink)