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Paul Russell [107]Paul N. Russell [6]Paul S. Russell [1]
  1. The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion.Paul Russell - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY PRIZE for the best published book in the history of philosophy [Awarded in 2010] _______________ -/- Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. It is an established orthodoxy among almost all commentators that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, (...)
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  2. Free Will and the Tragic Predicament: Making Sense of Williams.Paul Russell - 2022 - In András Szigeti & Matthew Talbert (eds.), Morality and Agency: Themes From Bernard Williams. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 163-183.
    Free Will & The Tragic Predicament : Making Sense of Williams -/- The discussion in this paper aims to make better sense of free will and moral responsibility by way of making sense of Bernard Williams’ significant and substantial contribution to this subject. Williams’ fundamental objective is to vindicate moral responsibility by way of freeing it from the distortions and misrepresentations imposed on it by “the morality system”. What Williams rejects, in particular, are the efforts of “morality” to further “deepen” (...)
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  3. The Limits of Free Will: Selected Essays.Paul Russell - 2017 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    The Limits of Free Will presents influential articles by Paul Russell concerning free will and moral responsibility. The problems arising in this field of philosophy, which are deeply rooted in the history of the subject, are also intimately related to a wide range of other fields, such as law and criminology, moral psychology, theology, and, more recently, neuroscience. These articles were written and published over a period of three decades, although most have appeared in the past decade. Among the topics (...)
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  4. Freedom and Moral Sentiment: Hume's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility.Paul Russell - 1995 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    In this book, Russell examines Hume's notion of free will and moral responsibility. It is widely held that Hume presents us with a classic statement of a compatibilist position--that freedom and responsibility can be reconciled with causation and, indeed, actually require it. Russell argues that this is a distortion of Hume's view, because it overlooks the crucial role of moral sentiment in Hume's picture of human nature. Hume was concerned to describe the regular mechanisms which generate moral sentiments such as (...)
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  5. Strawson's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility.Paul Russell - 1992 - Ethics 102 (2):287-302.
    This article is concerned with a central strand of Strawson's well-known and highly influential essay “Freedom and Resentment” Strawson's principal objectives in this work is to refute or discredit the views of the "Pessimist." The Pessimist, as Strawson understands him/ her, claims that the truth of the thesis of determinism would render the attitudes and practices associated with moral responsibility incoherent and unjustified. Given this, the Pessimist claims that if determinism is true, then we must abandon or suspend these attitudes (...)
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  6. Free Will Pessimism.Paul Russell - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 4. Oxford University Press. pp. 93-120..
    The immediate aim of this paper is to articulate the essential features of an alternative compatibilist position, one that is responsive to sources of resistance to the compatibilist program based on considerations of fate and luck. The approach taken relies on distinguishing carefully between issues of skepticism and pessimism as they arise in this context. A compatibilism that is properly responsive to concerns about fate and luck is committed to what I describe as free will pessimism, which is to be (...)
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  7. Responsibility and the Condition of Moral Sense.Paul Russell - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1-2):287-305.
    Recent work in contemporary compatibilist theory displays considerable sophistication and subtlety when compared with the earlier theories of classical compatibilism. Two distinct lines of thought have proved especially influential and illuminating. The first developed around the general hypothesis that moral sentiments or reactive attitudes are fundamental for understanding the nature and conditions of moral responsibility. The other important development is found in recent compatibilist accounts of rational self-control or reason responsiveness. Strictly speaking, these two lines of thought have developed independent (...)
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  8. The Limits of Free Will: Replies to Bennett, Smith and Wallace.Paul Russell - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):357-373.
    This is a contribution to a Book symposium on The Limits of Free Will: Selected Essays by Paul Russell. Russell provides replies to three critics of The Limits of Free Will. The first reply is to Robert Wallace and focuses on the question of whether there is a conflict between the core compatibilist and pessimist components of the "critical compatibilist" position that Russell has advanced. The second reply is to Angela Smith's discussion of the "narrow" interpretation of moral responsibility responsibility (...)
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  9. Recasting Responsibility: Hume and Williams.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Marcel van Ackeren & Matthieu Queloz (eds.), Bernard Williams on Philosophy and History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Bernard Williams identifies Hume as “in some ways an archetypal reconciler” who, nevertheless, displays “a striking resistance to some of the central tenets of what [Williams calls] ‘morality’”. This assessment, it is argued, is generally correct. There are, however, some significant points of difference in their views concerning moral responsibility. This includes Williams’s view that a naturalistic project of the kind that Hume pursues is of limited value when it comes to making sense of “morality’s” illusions about responsibility and blame. (...)
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  10. Hume’s Optimism and Williams’s Pessimism From ‘Science of Man’ to Genealogical Critique.Paul Russell - 2018 - In Sophie Grace Chappell & Marcel van Ackeren (eds.), Ethics Beyond the Limits: New Essays on Bernard Williams' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 37-52.
    Bernard Williams is widely recognized as belonging among the greatest and most influential moral philosophers of the twentieth-century – and arguably the greatest British moral philosopher of the late twentieth-century. His various contributions over a period of nearly half a century changed the course of the subject and challenged many of its deepest assumptions and prejudices. There are, nevertheless, a number of respects in which the interpretation of his work is neither easy nor straightforward. One reason for this is that (...)
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  11. Moral Responsibility and Existential Attitudes.Paul Russell - 2022 - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 519-543.
    We might describe the philosophical issue of human freedom and moral responsibility as an existential metaphysical problem. Problems of this kind are not just a matter of theoretical interest and curiosity: They address issues that we care about and that affect us. They are, more specifically, relevant to the significance and value that we attach to our lives and the way that we lead them. According to the orthodox view, there is a tidy connection between skepticism and pessimism. Skepticism threatens (...)
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  12. Free Will, Art and Morality.Paul Russell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):307 - 325.
    The discussion in this paper begins with some observations regarding a number of structural similarities between art and morality as it involves human agency. On the basis of these observations we may ask whether or not incompatibilist worries about free will are relevant to both art and morality. One approach is to claim that libertarian free will is essential to our evaluations of merit and desert in both spheres. An alternative approach, is to claim that free will is required only (...)
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  13. Selective hard compatibilism.Paul Russell - 2010 - In J. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 7. MIT Press. pp. 149-73.
    .... The strategy I have defended involves drawing a distinction between those who can and cannot legitimately hold an agent responsible in circumstances when the agent is being covertly controlled (e.g. through implantation processes). What is intuitively unacceptable, I maintain, is that an agent should be held responsible or subject to reactive attitudes that come from another agent who is covertly controlling or manipulating him. This places some limits on who is entitled to take up the participant stance in relation (...)
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  14. Responsibility, Naturalism and ‘the Morality System'.Paul Russell - 2013 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford studies in agency and responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 184-204.
    In "Freedom and Resentment" P.F. Strawson, famously, advances a strong form of naturalism that aims to discredit kcepticism about moral responsibility by way of approaching these issues through an account of our reactive attitudes. However, even those who follow Strawson's general strategy on this subject accept that his strong naturalist program needs to be substantially modified, if not rejected. One of the most influential and important efforts to revise and reconstruct the Strawsonian program along these lines has been provided by (...)
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  15. Bernard Williams: Ethics from a Human Point of View.Paul Russell - 2018 - Times Literary Supplement.
    When Bernard Williams died in June 2003, the obituary in The Times said that “he will be remembered as the most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time”. It goes on to make clear that Williams was far from the dry, awkward, detached academic philosopher of caricature. -/- Born in Essex in 1929, Williams had an extraordinary and, in some respects, glamorous life. He not only enjoyed a stellar academic career – holding a series of distinguished posts (...)
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  16. Moral Sense and the Foundations of Responsibility.Paul Russell - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will: Second Edition. Oup Usa. pp. 199-220.
    Throughout much of the first half of the twentieth century, the free-will debate was largely concerned with the question of what kind of freedom was required for moral responsibility and whether the kind of freedom required was compatible with the thesis of determinism. This issue was itself addressed primarily with reference to the question of how freedom is related to alternative possibilities and what the relevant analysis of “could have done otherwise” comes to. The discussion of these topics made little (...)
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  17. The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings From the Contemporary Debates.Paul Russell & Oisin Deery (eds.) - 2013 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    This collection provides a selection of the most essential contributions to the contemporary free will debate. Among the issues discussed and debated are skepticism and naturalism, alternate possibilities, the consequence argument, libertarian metaphysics, illusionism and revisionism, optimism and pessimism, neuroscience and free will, and experimental philosophy.
  18. Hume on Religion.Paul Russell - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Hume's various writings concerning problems of religion are among the most important and influential contributions on this topic. In these writings Hume advances a systematic, sceptical critique of the philosophical foundations of various theological systems. Whatever interpretation one takes of Hume's philosophy as a whole, it is certainly true that one of his most basic philosophical objectives is to unmask and discredit the doctrines and dogmas of orthodox religious belief. There are, however, some significant points of disagreement about the (...)
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  19.  62
    Ambiguity and "Atheism" in Hume's Dialogues.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This paper considers the question of “atheism” as it arises in Hume’s _Dialogues_. It argues that the concept of “atheism” involves several signficiant ambiguities that are indicative of philosophical and interpretive disagreements of a more substantial nature. It defends the view that Philo’s general sceptical orientation accurately represents Hume’s own “irreligious” and “atheistic” commitments, both in the _Dialogues_ and in his other (“earlier”) writings. While Hume was plainly a “speculative atheist”, his “practical atheism” was targeted more narrowly against “superstition” - (...)
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  20. David Hume and the Philosophy of Religion.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1-20.
    David Hume (1711-1776) is widely recognized as one of the most influential and significant critics of religion in the history of philosophy. There remains, nevertheless, considerable disagreement about the exact nature of his views. According to some, he was a skeptic who regarded all conjectures relating to religious hypotheses to be beyond the scope of human understanding – he neither affirmed nor denied these conjectures. Others read him as embracing a highly refined form of “true religion” of some kind. On (...)
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  21. Hume's Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2012 - In Alan Bailey & Dan O'Brien (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Hume. Continuum. pp. 377-395.
    This chapter outlines an alternative interpretation of Hume’s philosophy, one that aims, among other things, to explain some of the most perplexing puzzles concerning the relationship between Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism. The key to solving these puzzles, it is argued, rests with recognizing Hume’s fundamental irreligious aims and objectives, beginning with his first and greatest work, A Treatise of Human Nature. The irreligious interpretation not only reconfigures our understanding of the unity and structure of Hume’s thought, it also provides (...)
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  22. Responsibility Skepticism and Strawson’s Naturalism: Review Essay on Pamela Hieronymi, Freedom, Resentment & The Metaphysics of Morals (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020).Paul Russell - 2021 - Ethics 131 (4):754-776.
    There are few who would deny that P. F. Strawson’s “Freedom and Resentment” (1962) ranks among the most significant contributions to modern moral philosophy. Although any number of essays have been devoted to it, Pamela Hieronymi’s 'Freedom, Resentment, and the Metaphysics of Morals' is the first book-length study. The aim of Hieronymi’s study is to show that Strawson’s “central argument” has been “underestimated and misunderstood.” Hieronymi interprets this argument in terms of what she describes as Strawson’s “social naturalism”. Understood this (...)
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  23. Pessimists, pollyannas, and the new compatibilism.Paul Russell - 2001 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
    THE aim of this chapter is to offer a critical examination of some recent contributions to compatibilist literature on freedom and responsibility that aim to provide broadly reasons-responsive accounts of moral agency. Although the views of several authors will be considered, discussion will be organized primarily around Daniel Dennett's "Elbow Room" (1984), an important work in the evolution of the "new compatibilism.".
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  24.  21
    Rest is best: The role of rest and task interruptions on vigilance.William S. Helton & Paul N. Russell - 2015 - Cognition 134 (C):165-173.
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  25. Hume's Anatomy of Virtue.Paul Russell - 2013 - In Daniel C. Russell (ed.), The Cambridge companion to virtue ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 92-123.
    In his Treatise of Human Nature Hume makes clear that it is his aim to make moral philosophy more scientific and properly grounded on experience and observation. The “experimental” approach to philosophy, Hume warns his readers, is “abstruse,” “abstract” and “speculative” in nature. It depends on careful and exact reasoning that foregoes the path of an “easy” philosophy, which relies on a more direct appeal to our passions and sentiments . Hume justifies this approach by way of an analogy concerning (...)
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  26. Locke on Express and Tacit Consent.Paul Russell - 1986 - Political Theory 14 (2):291-306.
    THE SUBJECT MATTER of this essay is Locke's well-known discussion of consent in sections 116-122 of the Second Treatise of Government.' I will not be concerned to discuss the place of consent in Locke's political philosophy 2 My concerns are somewhat narrower than this. I will simply be concerned to show that in important respects several recent discussions of Locke's political philosophy have misrepresented Locke's views on the subject of express and tacit consent. At theheart of these misinterpretations lie misunderstandings (...)
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  27. Responses to Ryan, Fosl and Gautier: SKEPSIS Book Symposium on 'Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy', by Paul Russell.Paul Russell - 2023 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 14 (26):121-139.
    In the replies to my critics that follow I offer a more detailed account of the specific papers that they discuss or examine. The papers that they are especially concerned with are: “The Material World and Natural Religion in Hume’s Treatise” (Ryan) [Essay 3], “Hume’s Skepticism and the Problem of Atheism” (Fosl) [Essay 12], and “Hume’s Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism (Gautier) [Essay 16].
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  28.  40
    Introduction to "Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide".Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This introduction provides a brief overview of the issues and arguments that arise in Hume's _Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_ (1779). It also provides a few brief comments relating to the historical context in which this text should be interpreted , as well as an account of the place of the _Dialogues_ in relation to Hume's other philosophical works.
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  29. “Hume’s Lengthy Digression": Free Will in the Treatise.Paul Russell - 2014 - In Donald C. Ainslie & Annemarie Butler (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume's Treatise. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 231-251.
    David Hume’s views on the subject of free will are among the most influential contributions to this long-disputed topic. Throughout the twentieth century, and into this century, Hume has been widely regarded as having presented the classic defense of the compatibilist position, the view that freedom and responsibility are consistent with determinism. Most of Hume’s core arguments on this issue are found in the Sections entitled “Of liberty and necessity,” first presented in Book 2 of A Treatise of Human Nature (...)
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  30. Precis of Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy. SKEPSIS Book Symposium: Paul Russell, Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy, With replies to critics: Peter Fosl (pp. 77-95), Claude Gautier (pp. 96-111) , and Todd Ryan (pp.112-122).Paul Russell - 2023 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research 14 (26):71-73.
    Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy is a collection of essays that are all concerned with major figures and topics in the early modern philosophy. Most of the essays are concerned, more specifically, with the philosophy of David Hume (1711-1776). The sixteen essays included in this collection are divided into five parts. These parts are arranged under the headings of: (1) Metaphysics and Epistemology; (2) Free Will and Moral Luck; (3) Ethics, Virtue and Optimism; (4) Skepticism, Religion and Atheism; and (...)
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  31. Hume's Treatise and Hobbes's the Elements of Law.Paul Russell - 1985 - Journal of the History of Ideas 46 (1):51.
    The central thesis of this paper is that the scope and structure of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature is modelled, or planned, after that of Hobbes's The Elements of Law and that in this respect there exists an important and unique relationship between these works. This relationship is of some importance for at least two reasons. First, it is indicative of the fundamental similarity between Hobbes's and Hume's project of the study of man. Second, and what is more important, by (...)
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  32. Hume on free will.Paul Russell - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Hume is widely recognized as providing the most influential statement of the “compatibilist” position in the free will debate — the view that freedom and moral responsibility can be reconciled with (causal) determinism. The arguments that Hume advances on this subject are found primarily in the sections titled “Of liberty and necessity”, as first presented in A Treatise of Human Nature (2.3.1-2) and, later, in a slightly amended form, in the Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (sec. 8). Although there is (...)
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  33. Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays.Paul Russell - 2021 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    In this collection of essays, philosopher Paul Russell addresses major figures and central topics of the history of early modern philosophy. Most of these essays are studies on the philosophy of David Hume, one of the great figures in the history of philosophy. One central theme, connecting many of the essays, concerns Hume's fundamental irreligious intentions. Russell argues that a proper appreciation of the significance of Hume's irreligious concerns, which runs through his whole philosophy, serves to discredit the deeply entrenched (...)
  34. Smith on Moral Sentiment and Moral Luck.Paul Russell - 1999 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 16 (1):37 - 58.
    Smith's views on moral luck have attracted little attention in the relevant contemporary literature on this subject.* More surprising, perhaps, the material in the secondary literature directly concerned with Smith's moral philosophy is rather thin on this aspect of his thought. In this paper my particular concern is to provide an interpretation and critical assessment of Smith on moral luck. I begin with a description of the basic features of Smith's position; then I criticize two particularly important claims that are (...)
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  35. “Responsibility After ‘Morality’: Strawson’s Naturalism and Williams’ Genealogy”.Paul Russell - 2023 - In Sybren Heyndels, Audun Bengtson & Benjamin De Mesel (eds.), P.F. Strawson and his Philosophical Legacy. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. pp. 234-259.
    “Responsibility After ‘Morality’: Strawson’s Naturalism and Williams’ Genealogy” -/- Although P.F. Strawson and Bernard Williams have both made highly significant and influential contributions on the subject of moral responsibility they never directly engaged with the views of each other. On one natural reading their views are directly opposed. Strawson seeks to discredit scepticism about moral responsibility by means of naturalistic observations and arguments. Williams, by contrast, employs genealogical methods to support sceptical conclusions about moral responsibility (and blame). This way of (...)
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  36. Hume’s Treatise and the Clarke-Collins Controversy.Paul Russell - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (1):95-115.
    The philosophy of Samuel Clarke is of central importance to Hume’s Treatise. Hume’s overall attitude to Clarke’s philosophy may be characterized as one of systematic scepticism. The general significance of this is that it sheds considerable light on Hume’s fundamental “atheistic” or anti-Christian intentions in the Treatise. These are all claims that I have argued for elsewhere.’ In this paper I am concerned to focus on a narrower aspect of this relationship between the philosophies of Clarke and Hume. Specifically, I (...)
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  37. Compatibilist fatalism.Paul Russell - 2000 - In A. van den Beld (ed.), Moral Responsibility and Ontology. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 199--218.
    Compatibilists argue, famously, that it is a simple incompatibilist confusion to suppose that determinism implies fatalism. Incompatibilists argue, on the contrary, that determinism implies fatalism, and thus cannot be consistent with the necessary conditions of moral responsibility. Despite their differences, however, both parties are agreed on one important matter: the refutation of fatalism is essential to the success of the compatibilist strategy. In this paper I argue that compatibilism requires a richer conception of fatalistic concern; one that recognizes the _legitimacy_ (...)
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  38. Moral sense and virtue in Hume's ethics.Paul Russell - 2006 - In T. D. J. Chappell (ed.), Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    The problem that I am primarily concerned with in this paper is the nature of moral capacity as it relates to virtue in Hume’s ethical system.1 In particular, I am concerned with the relationship between virtue and moral sense. Hume’s remarks about this matter are both brief and scattered. I will argue, nevertheless, that when we piece together his various claims and observations on this subject we discover some important insights that add to the overall coherence and credibility of his (...)
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  39. Sorabji and the dilemma of determinism.Paul Russell - 1984 - Analysis 44 (4):166.
    In 'Necessity, Cause and Blame' (London: Duckworth, 1980) Richard Sorabji attempts to develop a notion of moral responsibility which does not get caught on either horn of a well known dilemma. One horn is the argument that if an action was caused then it must have been necessary and therefore could not be one for which the agent is responsible. The other horn is the argument that if the action was not caused then it is inexplicable and random and therefore (...)
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  40. Epigram, Pantheists, and Freethought in Hume's Treatise: A study in esoteric communication.Paul Russell - 1993 - Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (4):659-673.
    Hume's Treatise of Human Nature was published in the form of three separate books. The first two, "Of the Understanding" and "Of the Pas- sions," were published in London in January 1739 by John Noon. The third, "Of Morals," was published independently in London by Thomas Longman in November 1740.2 The title and subtitles on all three books are the same: A Treatise of Human Nature: Being An Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. On the (...)
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  41.  76
    Causation, compulsion, and compatibilism.Paul Russell - 1988 - American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (4):313-321.
    The empiricist-compatibilist strategy falls, essentially, into two distinct stages of argument. Historically speaking, the first stage was initiated by Hobbes and the second stage was initiated by Hume. The first stage, which I shall refer to as the "compulsion argument" seeks to describe the general significance of the distinction between causation and compulsion for the "free will" dispute. The second stage of the empiricist-compatibilist strategy, which I shall refer to as the "regularity argument," endeavours to reconstruct the compulsion argument on (...)
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  42. Hume’s Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2016 - In The Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter outlines an alternative interpretation of Hume’s philosophy, one that aims, among other things, to explain some of the most perplexing puzzles concerning the relationship between Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism. The key to solving these puzzles, it is argued, rests with recognizing Hume’s fundamental irreligious aims and objectives, beginning with his first and greatest work, A Treatise of Human Nature. The irreligious interpretation not only reconfigures our understanding of the unity and structure of Hume’s thought, it also provides (...)
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  43. Hume on Responsibility and Punishment.Paul Russell - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (4):539 - 563.
    In this paper I pursue two closely related objectives. First, I articulate and describe the nature and character of Hume's theory of punishment. Second, in light of this account, I offer an assessment of the contem- porary interest and value of Hume's theory. Throughout my discus- sion I emphasize the relevance and importance of Hume's views on moral responsibility to his account of punishment.1 More specifically, I argue that Hume seeks to develop an account of punishment on the foundation of (...)
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  44. Hume's Skepticism and the Problem of Atheism.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 303-339.
    David Hume was clearly a critic of religion. It is still debated, however, whether or not he was an atheist who denied the existence of God. According to some interpretations he was a theist of some kind and others claim he was an agnostic who simply suspends any belief on this issue. This essay argues that Hume’s theory of belief tells against any theistic interpretation – including the weaker, “attenuated” accounts. It then turns to the case for the view that (...)
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  45. Of Gods and Clocks: Free Will and Hobbes-Bramhall Debate.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays. New York, NY, USA: pp. 133-157.
    Contrary to John Bramhall and critics like him, Thomas Hobbes takes the view that no account of liberty or freedom can serve as the relevant basis on which to distinguish moral from nonmoral agents or explains the basis on which an agent becomes subject to law and liable to punishment. The correct compatibilist strategy rests, on Hobbes’s account, with a proper appreciation and description of the contractualist features that shape and structure the moral community. From this perspective human agents may (...)
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  46. True Religion and Hume's Practical Atheism.Paul Russell - 2021 - In V. R. Rosaleny & P. J. Smith (eds.), Sceptical Doubt and Disbelief in Modern European Thought. Cham: Springer. pp. 191-225.
    The argument and discussion in this paper begins from the premise that Hume was an atheist who denied the religious or theist hypothesis. However, even if it is agreed that that Hume was an atheist this does not tell us where he stood on the question concerning the value of religion. Some atheists, such as Spinoza, have argued that society needs to maintain and preserve a form of “true religion”, which is required for the support of our ethical life. Others, (...)
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  47. Wishart, Baxter and Hume’s Letter from a Gentleman.Paul Russell - 1997 - Hume Studies 23 (2):245-276.
    Hume’s Letter from a Gentleman is an important document for Hume scholarship because, among other things, it serves as a useful tool for the interpretation and analysis of Hume’s philosophical intentions in the Treatise. The Letter itself, however, raises several difficult problems of interpretation. One of the most important of these concerns the identity of Hume’s “accuser“-the author of A Specimen of the Principles concerning Religion and Morality &c., to which Hume is responding in the Letter. Clearly the interpretation of (...)
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  48. Hume's 'Two Definitions' of Causation and the Ontology of 'Double Existence' (revised) with an Appendix 2021.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Recasting Hume and early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays. New York, NY, USA: pp. 3-31.
    This essay provides an interpretation of Hume’s “two definitions” of causation. It argues that the two definitions of causation must be interpreted in terms of Hume’s fundamental ontological distinction between perceptions and (material) objects. Central to Hume’s position on this subject is the claim that, while there is a natural tendency to suppose that there exist (metaphysical) causal powers in objects themselves, this is a product of our failure to distinguish perceptions and objects. Properly understood, our idea of causation involves (...)
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  49.  68
    Dudgeon, William (1705/6–1743), freethinker and philosopher.Paul Russell - 2004 - In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford Univerrsity Press.
    Dudgeon, William (1705/6–1743), freethinker and philosopher, is of unknown origins. A tenant farmer who resided at Lennel Hill Farm, near Coldstream, Berwickshire, he was one of several philosophers active in the borders area of Scotland during this period. Other figures in this group include Andrew Baxter, Henry Home (Lord Kames), and most importantly David Hume.....
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  50. Irreligion and the Impartial Spectator in Smith’s Moral System.Paul Russell - 2005 - In Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 384-402.
    [First published in Italian as: “L’irreligione e lo spettatore imparziale nel sistema morale di Adam Smith”, in Rivista di Filosofia 3 (3):375-403 (2005). -/- Translated by E. Lecaldano.] -/- A number of commentators on Smith’s philosophy have observed that the relationship between his moral theory and his theological beliefs is “exceedingly difficult to unravel.” The available evidence, as generally presented, suggests that although Smith was not entirely orthodox by contemporary standards, he has no obvious or significant irreligious commitments or orientation. (...)
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