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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, Paul Russell argues that it is irreligious aims and objectives that are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence.
Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1729-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little aggreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. The solution to this riddle depends on challenging another, closely related, point of orthodoxy: namely, that before Hume published the Treatise he removed almost all material concerned with problems of religion. Russell argues, contrary to this view, that irreligious aims and objectives are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence. It is Hume's basic anti-Christian aims and objectives that serve to shape and direct both his skeptical and naturalistic commitments. When Hume's arguments are viewed from this perspective we can solve, not only puzzles arising from his discussion of various specific issues, we can also explain the intimate and intricate connections that hold his entire project together. This "irreligious" interpretation provides a comprehensive fresh account of the nature of Hume's fundamental aims and ambitions in the Treatise. It also presents a radically different picture of the way in which Hume's project was rooted in the debates and controversies of his own time, placing the Treatise in an irreligious or anti-Christian philosophical tradition that includes Hobbes, Spinoza and freethinking followers. Considered in these terms, Hume's Treatise constitutes the crowning achievement of the Radical Enlightenment.
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.
Contrary to Hume's wishes, 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding' has long lived in the shadow of its predecessor 'A Treatise of Human Nature'. Stephen Buckle presents the 'Enquiry' in a fresh light.
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.
David Hume is traditionally seen as a devastating critic of religion. He is widely read as an infidel, a critic of the Christian faith, and an attacker of popular forms of worship. His reputation as irreligious is well forged among his readers, and his argument against miracles sits at the heart of the narrative overview of his work that perennially indoctrinates thousands of first-year philosophy students. In Toward a Humean True Religion, Andre Willis succeeds in complicating Hume’s split approach to religion, showing that Hume was not, in fact, dogmatically against religion in all times and places. Hume occupied a “watershed moment,” Willis contends, when old ideas of religion were being replaced by the modern idea of religion as a set of epistemically true but speculative claims. Thus, Willis repositions the relative weight of Hume’s antireligious sentiment, giving significance to the role of both historical and discursive forces instead of simply relying on Hume’s personal animus as its driving force. Willis muses about what a Humean “true religion” might look like and suggests that we think of this as a third way between the classical and modern notions of religion. He argues that the cumulative achievements of Hume’s mild philosophic theism, the aim of his moral rationalism, and the conclusion of his project on the passions provide the best content for this “true religion.”

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