Skepticismus a fideismus. Montaigne a Hume
Scepticism and fideism: Montaigne and Hume
Languages of publication
The revival of Pyrrhonian scepticism in European thought of the seventeenth century had a significant influence not only on the further development of epistemology, but also on the sphere of theology. Sceptical denial of the legitimacy of rational judgement affected even the legitimacy of traditional arguments for God’s existence. The attempt to “save God” led to fideism in which faith is transferred to the sphere of inner experience, and is fraught with mystery. One of the main propagators of Pyrrhonism, and representatives of the fideistic turn, was Montaigne. What about Hume? Do we not find a similar strategy here too? After all, Hume accepted the irresolvability of epistemological scepticism by rational means, and he founded the positive structure of knowledge on human nature instead. Analogically, he might be inclined to go for the opposite pole of religious scepticism by endorsing the private faith of the heart, and he might perhaps even recognise this as a natural need in human life. The author, in her investigation of these questions, treats above all of Hume’s Dialogues and she arrives at the conclusion that Hume - in contrast to his predecessor Bayle - is perfectly devoted to an enlightened world where religion, especially in its fideistic form, belongs to the old times of “darkness”. It may be replaced, though, by the almost secular true religion practiced in an enlightened community.
Publication order reference