Download A Companion to Hume by Elizabeth S. Radcliffe PDF

By Elizabeth S. Radcliffe

Made out of twenty-nine specifically commissioned essays, A better half to Hume examines the intensity of the philosophies and impression of 1 of history's such a lot extraordinary thinkers.

  • Demonstrates the variety of Hume's paintings and illuminates the continued debates that it has generated
  • Organized by means of topic, with introductions to every part to orient the reader
  • Explores issues akin to wisdom, ardour, morality, faith, economics, and politics
  • Examines the paradoxes of Hume's notion and his legacy, masking the equipment, issues, and results of his contributions to philosophy

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In a word, he reduced metaphysics to what it really ought to be: the experimental physics of the soul. (d’Alembert 1751: 83–4) So, for d’Alembert, the legacy of the English philosophers is, first, the knowledge of the basic workings of the natural world; secondly, the recognition that the sure path to what can be known lies in the empirical methods shared by the learned and the common people alike; and, thirdly, the conviction that the proper yardstick of intellectual progress is human benefit.

This is the rational kernel in the view that his purposes are destructive; but it needs to be set in the context of his materialism-friendly rejection of any privileged or even independent role for rational activity. Books 2 and 3 work out the implications of this naturalizing project. In Book 2 our reasoning capacity is subordinated to the internal mechanical responses to external stimuli: the passions. The passions are internal reflections of external perceptions, mediated by ideas, and give rise to further ideas and impressions.

It is possessed by animals no less than by humans. 14). Furthermore, reason undermines all our beliefs because relying on it generates an infinite regress, but we escape total skepticism because human nature opposes reason’s tendencies. Our belief in the reality of the external world is due to inertial tendencies (“smooth transitions”) of the imagination, which connect up all fleeting but resembling impressions to create the belief in enduring objects; but the modern scientific explanation of them depends on an unstable compromise between imagination and reason.

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