Skepticism in Hume's Politics and Histories

Araucaria 20 (40) (2018)

Peter S. Fosl
Transylvania University
This essay argues that Hume's political and historical thought is well read as skeptical and skeptical in a way that roots it deeply in the Hellenistic traditions of both Pyrrhonian and Academical thought. It deploys skeptical instruments to undermine political rationalism as well as theologically and metaphysically political ideologies. Hume's is politics of opinion and appearance. It labors to oppose faction and enthusiasm and generate suspension, balance, tranquility, and moderation. Because Hume advocate the use of reflectively generated but epistemically and metaphysically suspensive general rules, his political thought is not intrinsically conservative. While it valorizes stability and peace, Humean politics accepts a contested and open-ended political order, one that requires continuous maintenance and revision but does not pretend to any ultimate or final progress or end.
Keywords David Hume   skepticism   scepticism   Pyrrhonism   Academicism   political theory   early modern philosophy
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References found in this work BETA

Reflections on the Revolution in France.Edmund Burke - 2009 - London: Oxford University Press.
Hume.Don Garrett - 2014 - Routledge.

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