‘Naturalism’ and ‘Skepticism’ in Hume'sTreatise of Human Nature

Philosophy Compass 3 (4):721-733 (2008)
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Abstract

Hume begins the Treatise of Human Nature by announcing the goal of developing a science of man; by the end of Book 1 of the Treatise, the science of man seems to founder in doubt. Underlying the tension between Hume's constructive ambition – his 'naturalism'– and his doubts about that ambition – his 'skepticism'– is the question of whether Hume is justified in continuing his philosophical project. In this paper, I explain how this question emerges in the final section of Book 1 of the Treatise, the 'Conclusion of this Book', then examine Janet Broughton's and Don Garrett's answers to it, and conclude by sketching a different approach to this question.

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Sean Greenberg
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

The demand for a new concept of anthropology in the early modern age: The doctrine of Hume.A. M. Malivskyi - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 10:121-130.

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References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books.
A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
An Inquiry Into the Human Mind, on the Principles of Common Sense.Thomas Reid - 1997 - Cambridge University Press. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Cognition and commitment in Hume's philosophy.Don Garrett - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A progress of sentiments: reflections on Hume's Treatise.Annette Baier - 1991 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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