Closereads: Hume on Passions (Part One)

Sign up for Closereads at patreon.com/closereadsphilosophy to get additional parts of this reading, as well as our previous and future installments of this new podcast. On Book II of A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), this time reading sections 1 and 2 in Part I, "Pride and Humility." How does David Hume deal with human emotions, given his empiricism that begins with the  Continue Reading …

Ep. 289: Aesthetic Sense Theory: Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume (Part One)

Subscribe to get Part 2 of this episode. Listen to a preview. Hear this part ad-free. On David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760) and its two main influences: The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody (1709) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, aka the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Part III section 2 "Beauty," and An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design (1725) by  Continue Reading …

Ep. 289: Aesthetic Sense Theory: Hume (Part Two for Supporters)

Continuing from part one, we get into more detail on David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760). Hume starts out with a paradox: On the one hand, we believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; it's not a property of objects but of the interaction between an object and an observer. On the other hand, some works are obviously, objectively more beautiful than others,  Continue Reading …

Ep. 289: Aesthetic Sense Theory: Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume (Part One for Supporters)

On David Hume's "The Standard of Taste" (1760) and its two main influences: The Moralists: A Philosophical Rhapsody (1709) by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, aka the third Earl of Shaftesbury, Part III section 2 "Beauty," and An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design (1725) by Francis Hutcheson. Featuring Mark, Wes, Dylan, and Seth. How do we know what opinions about  Continue Reading …

Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Part Two)

Continuing on David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), with guest Stephen West. We get further into what's wrong with the design argument and why Hume thinks that it's merely a verbal dispute whether we want to say that God designed the orderly universe or just say that the universe is orderly. Also, the problem of evil! Listen to part 1 first, or get the  Continue Reading …

Episode 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Part One)

On David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How would a scientifically minded person argue for God's existence? In Hume's dialogue, a character named Cleanthes argues from this point of view for God's existence based on the complexity and order apparent in nature: It looks designed. But how good is that argument, and is it enough to prove an infinite God of  Continue Reading …

Ep. 167: Hume on Intelligent Design (Philosophize This! Crossover) (Citizen Edition)

On David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779). How would a scientifically minded person argue for the existence of God? In Hume's dialogue, a character named Cleanthes argues from this point of view for God's existence based on the complexity and order apparent in nature: It looks designed. But how good is that argument, and is it enough to prove an infinite  Continue Reading …

Inverting the Gaze: Pagan Political Philosophy

[From Michael Burgess, edited by Seth.]  A traditional means of founding political or moral philosophies in the west has been the construction of a point from which we can be seen and judged. This is an internalization and politicization of the Christian God who surveys and intervenes in his creation: we are always under the gaze of God and must therefore be Good. For Hume this  Continue Reading …

Why can’t life always be beautiful?

[A blog post from friend of PEL Phillip C.  It's a bit longer than our normal posts and is heavy with the name drops but I'm going to let it go because it's on art, is related to a discussion group and I make the editing decisions around here - Seth] “What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to  Continue Reading …

Cognitive and Affective Empathy in Moral Sentiment

[DISCLAIMER:  Although I am using a conceptual distinction I got from the embedded Simon Baron-Cohen TEDx talk (where ever he got it from), I am not taking a position on his stance on Autism or Psychopathy.  I have no point of view about Autism and have reflected on empathy and psychopathy in this blog before, here and here.  I'm interested in the constituent parts of empathy  Continue Reading …

The Leap of Faith: The Creative Element of Science

[Editor's Note: Thanks to new contributor Rob Graumans for this one!] Scientific realists are known to have a positive epistemic attitude towards the content of our best scientific theories and models. The exact interpretation of this philosophical tenet can, however, differ dramatically between each of its proponents. Some of these base their idea of the truthfulness of  Continue Reading …

No Self, but a Subject?

At one time in Savatthi, the venerable Radha seated himself and asked of the Blessed Lord Buddha: “Anatta, anatta I hear said, Venerable. What, pray tell, does Anatta mean?” “Just this, Radha, form is not the self (anatta), sensations are not the self (anatta), perceptions are not the self (anatta), assemblages are not the self (anatta), consciousness is not the self (anatta).  Continue Reading …

David Hume and Adam Smith in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Moral Philosophy, Part 2

As mentioned in my previous entry, moral philosophy in the eighteenth century was principally concerned with three issues: “the selfish hypothesis,” the nature of moral judgment, and the character of moral virtue. This entry regards the second component: the debate between the rationalists and sentimentalists over the nature and justification of moral judgment. Moral  Continue Reading …

Amartya Sen on Hume on Ethics

http://youtu.be/_UzWcWaKo88 Watch on YouTube. This video records Nobel laureate Amartya Sen's somewhat rambling lecture, wherein he discusses a few themes in Hume's ethical work which he deems relevant today. Specifically, Sen wants to advocate for Hume's argument that society's globalization tends to expand its moral sensitivities. We hear that Hume was among the first  Continue Reading …

David Hume and Adam Smith in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Moral Philosophy, Part 1

Moral philosophy in the eighteenth century was principally concerned with three issues. First, was “the selfish hypothesis,” which maintained that all declarations of public interest were ultimately expressions of private interest. Second, was the explanation and justification of moral judgment. And third, was the character of moral virtue. The selfish hypothesis, though  Continue Reading …

Episode 45: Moral Sense Theory: Hume and Smith (Citizens Only)

Discussing parts of David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature (1740) and Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). Where do we get our moral ideas? Hume and Smith both thought that we get them by reflecting on our own moral judgments and on how we and others (including imaginary, hypothesized others) in turn judge those judgments. Mark, Wes, Seth, and guest Getty  Continue Reading …

PREVIEW-Episode 45: Moral Sense Theory: Hume and Smith

This is a 33-minute preview of our vintage 1 hr, 46-minute episode. Buy Now Purchase this episode for $2.99. Or become a PEL Citizen for $5 a month, and get access to this and all other paywalled episodes, including 68 back catalogue episodes; exclusive Part 2's for episodes published after September, 2020; and our after-show Nightcap, where the guys respond to listener email  Continue Reading …