Since the 1950s, Terence Penelhum has been a leading contributor to studies on the thought of David Hume. In this collection, he presents a selection of the best of his essays on Hume. Most of the essays are quite recent and three are previously unpublished.
"Terence Penelhum surveys traditional and contemporary views on the often troubled relationship between philosophical reason and religious faith. Covering all the major issues and figures in a clear, balanced, and fair-minded way, this is the most reliable and modern treatment of these issues now available."--BOOK JACKET.
This is a re-Examination of hume's intentions in the final part of the "dialogues". It is here, If anywhere, That we find the resolution of the conflict between his naturalistic acceptance that belief has non-Rational causes, And his wish to expose religious belief as irrational. The paper amends its author's previous view that hume is shown to have accepted, At least verbally, That such a theism is a result of cleanthes' arguments, But to have maintained his secularism by showing it (...) to be religiously vacuous, And hence a socially benign influence. The argument relies on hume's use of the thought and language of the fideist tradition, And on questioning how far we can identify hume with philo as the "dialogues" conclude. (shrink)
This article reflects critically on some of the claims of J. L. Schellenberg's trilogy and on the fundamental decisions lying behind them. Some of the latter are found to be tied to his earlier work on atheism in ways that can be questioned.
When Aristotle said that an action is voluntary if its source lies within the agent rather than outside, he added that an action done from desire or anger is a voluntary one. He dismissed as absurd the suggestion that desire or anger are external forces, and can be classed in consequence as compulsions. In doing this he was rejecting one use of a device whose implications I want to explore in this paper—the device of selecting among the phenomena of our (...) mental lives some which are truly part of us, and distinguishing them from others which are not. This device is in turn a manifestation of a capacity that seems to be unique to persons—the capacity to make judgments about the forces within us that move us to action, and to identify with them or wish them to be otherwise. In exploring the implications of the device, therefore, I shall be trying to assess some of the implications of having the special capacities of a person. (shrink)
My intent in this paper is to give an account of Aquinas' analysis of the nature of Christian faith, to indicate some difficulties to which it seems to me, and has seemed to others, to give rise, to try to evaluate the degree to which his analysis can suggest answers to those difficulties, and then to conclude with some general comments about the sources of those perplexities that still remain.*.
This is a reply to Willem Lemmens’ discussion of my interpretation of the Dialogues on Natural Religion in my 2000 collection Themes from Hume: Self, Will, Religion. I use Lemmens’ careful textual analysis to clarify my considered position and to further the reading of Part 12 of the Dialogues.
The purpose of this paper is not to offer any solution to the problem of evil, or to declare it insoluble. It is rather the more modest one of deciding on its nature. Many writers assume that the problem of evil is one that poses a logical challenge to the theist, rather than a challenge of a moral or scientific sort. If this assumption is correct, and the challenge cannot be met, Christian theism can be shown to be untenable on (...) grounds of inconsistency. This in turn means that it is refutable by philosophers, even if their task is interpreted in the most narrowly analytical fashion. It has recently been argued that the challenge of the problem of evil can be met on logical grounds, and that if the existence of evil is damaging to theism it is not because the recognition of its existence is inconsistent with some essential part of it. I take two examples of this position. The first is in the paper ‘Hume on Evil’ by Nelson Pike; the second I owe to Professor R. M. Chisholm. (shrink)
Is parapsychology a pseudo-science? Many believe that the Eighteenth century philosopher David Hume showed, in effect, that it must be. In this article, Terence Penelhum explains and endorses Hume's arguments concerning testimony of the miraculous, but also explains why he believes there is now evidence of sufficient quality concerning the paranormal to make further investigation scientifically worth-while.