By Elizabeth S. Radcliffe

Made out of twenty-nine especially commissioned essays, A better half to Hume examines the intensity of the philosophies and impact of 1 of history's so much impressive thinkers.

  • Demonstrates the diversity of Hume's paintings and illuminates the continued debates that it has generated
  • Organized through topic, with introductions to every part to orient the reader
  • Explores subject matters akin to wisdom, ardour, morality, faith, economics, and politics
  • Examines the paradoxes of Hume's idea and his legacy, protecting the tools, subject matters, and results of his contributions to philosophy

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Sample text

He adopts nearly all the main themes of Hobbesian psychology, even to the extent of building his account of our inductive practices and our conceptions of cause and probability out of Hobbes’s account of the origin of expectations from the tendency to transfer past experience to the future. Moreover, Hobbes defends a psychological (nonrational) source of our belief in enduring external objects, and similarly subordinates reason to passion. In short, Hume’s displacement of reason in favor of the non-rational processes of the imagination has its roots in Hobbesian materialist psychology.

Finally, Hume’s skepticism has a political consequence: it rules out the dogmatic radicalism of the philosophes, recommending instead a more thorough-going commitment to experimental methods and values. The experimental philosopher must remain, as the Treatise’s Introduction affirms, within the constraints imposed by a cautious examination of human life, and by the judicious collection and comparison of experiments; and the consistently skeptical spirit requires us to be diffident of our solutions no less than of our criticisms.

Cyclopaedia: Or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (London: James and John Knapton, John Darby, Daniel Midwinter, Arthur Bettesworth, John Senex [and 13 others] ). Descartes, R. (1641). Meditations on First Philosophy, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, trans. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, and D. Murdoch (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). Diderot, D. (1754). Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature and Other Philosophical Works, ed. D. Adams (Manchester: Clinamen Press, 1999).

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