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It is widely held that Hume's Treatise has little or nothing to do with problems of religion. Contrary to this view, however, this book argues that it is irreligious aims and objectives that are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence.
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Beginning with an overview of Hume's life and work, Don Garrett introduces in clear and accessible style the central aspects of Hume's thought. These include Hume's lifelong exploration of the human mind; his theories of inductive inference and causation; skepticism and personal identity; moral and political philosophy; aesthetics; and philosophy of religion. The final chapter considers the influence and legacy of Hume's thought today. Throughout, Garrett draws on and explains many of Hume's central works, including his Treatise of Human Nature, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Hume is essential reading not only for students of philosophy, but anyone in the humanities and social sciences and beyond seeking an introduction to Hume's thought.
In this volume, authors Alan Bailey and Dan O’Brien examine the full import of David Hume’s arguments and the context of the society in which his work came to fruition. They analyze the nuanced natured of Hume's philosophical discourse and provide an informed look into his position on the possible content and rational justification of religious belief. The authors first detail the pressures and forms of repression that confronted any 18th century thinker wishing to challenge publicly the truth of Christian theism. From there, they offer an overview of Hume's writings on religion, paying particular attention to the inter-relationships between the various works. They show that Hume's writings on religion are best seen as an artfully constructed web of irreligious argument that seeks to push forward a radical outlook, one that only emerges when the attention shifts from the individual sections of the web to its overall structure and context. Even though there is no explicit denial in any of Hume's published writings or private correspondence of the existence of God, the implications of his arguments often seem to point strongly towards atheism. David Hume was one of the leading British critics of Christianity and all forms of religion at a time when public utterances or published writings denying the truth of Christianity were liable to legal prosecution. His philosophical and historical writings offer a sustained and remarkably open critique of religion that is unmatched by any previous author writing in English. Yet, despite Hume’s widespread reputation amongst his contemporaries for extreme irreligion, the subtle and measured manner in which he presents his position means that it remains far from clear how radical his views actually were.
The Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) is widely regarded as the greatest and most significant English-speaking philosopher and often seen as having had the most influence on the way philosophy is practiced today in the West. His reputation is based not only on the quality of his philosophical thought but also on the breadth and scope of his writings, which ranged over metaphysics, epistemology, morals, politics, religion, and aesthetics. The Handbook's 38 newly commissioned chapters are divided into six parts: Central Themes; Metaphysics and Epistemology; Passion, Morality and Politics; Aesthetics, History, and Economics; Religion; Hume and the Enlightenment; and After Hume. The volume also features an introduction from editor Paul Russell and a chapter on Hume's biography.
A History of Scottish Philosophy is a series of collaborative studies by expert authors, each volume being devoted to a specific period. Together they provide a comprehensive account of the Scottish philosophical tradition, from the centuries that laid the foundation of the remarkable burst of intellectual fertility known as the Scottish Enlightenment, through the Victorian age and beyond, when it continued to exercise powerful intellectual influence at home and abroad. The books aim to be historically informative, while at the same time serving to renew philosophical interest in the problems with which the Scottish philosophers grappled, and in the solutions they proposed. This new history of Scottish philosophy will include two volumes that focus on the Scottish Enlightenment. In this volume a team of leading experts explore the ideas, intellectual context, and influence of Hutcheson, Hume, Smith, Reid, and many other thinkers, frame old issues in fresh ways, and introduce new topics and questions into debates about the philosophy of this remarkable period. The contributors explore the distinctively Scottish context of this philosophical flourishing, and juxtapose the work of canonical philosophers with contemporaries now very seldom read. The outcome is a broadening-out, and a filling-in of the detail, of the picture of the philosophical scene of Scotland in the eighteenth century. General Editor: Gordon Graham, Princeton Theological Seminary
Philosophical ethics consists in the human endeavour to answer rationally the fundamental question of how we should live. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics explores the history of philosophical ethics in the western tradition from Homer until the present day. It provides a broad overview of the views of many of the main thinkers, schools, and periods, and includes in addition essays on topics such as autonomy and impartiality. The authors are international leaders in their field, and use their expertise and specialist knowledge to illuminate the relevance of their work to discussions in contemporary ethics. The essays are specially written for this volume, and in each case introduce the reader to the main lines of interpretation and criticism that have arisen in the professional history of philosophy over the past two or three decades.

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