Hume's discussion of the idea of space in his Treatise on Human Nature is fundamental to an understanding of his treatment of such central issues as the existence of external objects, the unity of the self, the relation between certainty and belief, and abstract ideas. Marina Frasca-Spada's rich and original study examines this difficult part of Hume's philosophical writings and connects it to eighteenth-century works in natural philosophy, mathematics and literature. Focusing on Hume's discussions of the infinite divisibility of extension, (...) the origin of the idea of space, geometry, and the notion of a vacuum, she shows that the central questions of Hume's 'science of human nature' - what does the 'science of human nature' reveal about the mind and its operations? what is experience? - underlie all of these discussions. Her analysis points the way to a reassessment of the central current interpretative problems in Hume studies. (shrink)
Impressions of Hume collects brand-new essays from leading scholars in different philosophical, historiographical, and literary traditions within which Hume is a canonical figure. To some his writings are vehicles for intuitions, problems, and arguments which are at the center of contemporary philosophical reflection; others locate Hume's views against the background of concerns and debates of his own time. Hume's texts may be read as highly sophisticated literary-cum-philosophical creations, or as moments in the construction of the ideology of modernity; these are (...) "open" texts which present their reader with a bounty of different materials and inspirations. (shrink)
This chapter contains section titled: Hume's Legacy Sense Impressions, Passions and Ideas The Idea of Cause and Effect Probability and the Inference from Past to Future (Moderate) Skepticism Moral Feelings Human Nature and Religious Beliefs.
This volume includes recent contributions to the philosophy of science from a historical point of view and of the highest topicality: the range of the topics covers all fields in the philosophy of the science provided by authors from around the world focusing on ancient, modern and contemporary periods in the development of the science philosophy. This proceedings is for the scientific community and students at graduate level as well as postdocs in this interdisciplinary field of research.
The original occasion for most of the chapters contained in this book was the result of a wish to establish a forum where Hume scholars of various provenances and convictions could meet and discuss all matters Humean, profiting from the very differences that commonly would make it difficult for them to cross paths with each other. This wish materialised in an interdisciplinary workshop, ‘Hume Studies in Britain’, held in Cambridge in September 2000. The title of the book is intended to (...) reflect that original interdisciplinary approach: Hume has made different impressions on the different areas of investigation here represented. Thus his writings can be taken as transparent vehicles for philosophical intuitions, problems, and arguments that are still at the centre of philosophical reflection today. On the other hand, there are readings that try to locate Hume's views against the background of concerns, debates and discussions of his own time. Hume's texts may be read as highly sophisticated literary-cum-philosophical creations: in such cases, the reader's attention tends to be directed at issues of genre and persuasive strategies rather than philosophical questions and arguments. Or they may be regarded as moments in the construction of the ideology of modernity, and as contributions to the legitimation of a given social order. As the true classics that they are, Hume's works are typical ‘open texts’, in which readers keep finding an ever new and varied bounty of inspirations. The borders between these approaches are far from neat; and this book intends to promote as much trespassing as possible between them. (shrink)
This essay is on the nature and roles of sense impressions and objects in Hume’s account of perception in the Treatise of Human Nature. I start by considering how Hume introduces sense impressions at the beginning of the Treatise and show that, although he explains the distinction between impressions and ideas on the basis of their different strength and liveliness, the crucial difference between them is in fact that ideas are copies of impressions, while impressions do not, in turn, copy (...) anything. They are what ideas represent, the objects of our thought. But if impressions are non-representative, how can Hume talk about ‘objects’ at all — in fact, what are Humean ‘objects’? This problem is the subject of the present discussion. (shrink)