Revered for his contributions to empiricism, skepticism and ethics, David Hume remains one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. His first and broadest work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), comprises three volumes, concerning the understanding, the passions and morals. He develops a naturalist and empiricist program, illustrating that the mind operates through the association of impressions and ideas. This Companion features essays by leading scholars that evaluate the philosophical content of the arguments in Hume's Treatise while considering their historical context. The authors examine Hume's distinctive views on causation, motivation, free will, moral evaluation and the origins of justice, which continue to influence present-day philosophical debate. This collection will prove a valuable resource for students and scholars exploring Hume, British empiricism and modern philosophy.
Table of Contents
1. Hume's early biography and A Treatise of Human Nature Annemarie Butler; 2. From impressions to justice and the virtues: the structure of Hume's Treatise Amélie Oksenberg Rorty; 3. The ideas of space and time and spatial and temporal ideas in Treatise 1.2 Lorne Falkenstein; 4. Hume's theory of causation: inference, judgment, and the causal sense Don Garrett; 5. Scepticism with regard to reason David Owen; 6. Hume on scepticism and the senses Kenneth P. Winkler; 7. The problem of believing in yourself: Hume's doubts about personal identity Annemarie Butler; 8. Sympathy, self, and others Jacqueline Taylor; 9. The indirect passions, myself, and others Terence Penelhum; 10. 'Hume's lengthy digression': free will in the Treatise Paul Russell; 11. Hume on reason and passion Nicholas L. Sturgeon; 12. Hume and moral motivation Donald C. Ainslie; 13. Hume's justice Tito Magri; 14. What's so 'natural' about Hume's natural virtues? Kate Abramson.