PL EN


2011 | 66 | 3 | 240-257
Article title

WAS HUME AN ATHEIST? RECONSIDERATION

Authors
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
In The Riddle of Hume's Treatise, Paul Russell claims that scholars describing Hume simply as a sceptic or agnostic fail to recognize his irreligious objectives. Russell summarizes Hume's philosophy in three points. First, Hume endorses thin theism which is theoretically empty and of little practical use. Second, Hume's outlook is characterized by a permanent and strong antipathy towards religion. Third, the science of man, constructed by Hume in his Treatise, intends to establish a godless worldview. Hence, Hume's views on religion could be described as atheistic or irreligious. However, this author feels that Russell fails to capture the essence of Hume's philosophy of religion in that it may allow a place for religion. First, Hume's deism is neither empty nor of little use; therefore, Hume's endorsement of thin theism cannot be interpreted as de facto atheism. Second, Hume's antipathy for religion is directed towards specific religions, namely, Catholicism and Protestantism, and not religion in general. Therefore, describing Hume's attitude as 'irreligious' is clearly misleading. Third, Hume's science of man is based on the precept of a methodological naturalist with no interest in metaphysical beings. Therefore, it cannot be said that Hume sought to establish a godless worldview.
Year
Volume
66
Issue
3
Pages
240-257
Physical description
Document type
ARTICLE
Contributors
  • Tai Ha Lee, Sejong University, Division of General Education, 98 Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 143-747, Korea
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
CEJSH db identifier
11SKAAAA09636
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.5269fdf3-10f4-308d-b651-be2d29e8c3c4
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