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The Riddle of Hume's Treatise – Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion

Paul Russell


Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739‐40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. Among almost all commentators it is an established orthodoxy that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, however, that Hume's skeptical arguments and commitments appear to undermine and discredit his naturalistic ambition to contribute to “the science of man”—a schism that appears to leave his entire project broken‐back ... More

Keywords: atheism (anti‐Christian), Treatise of Human Nature, empiricism, Enlightenment (Radical), freethinking, David Hume, religion/irreligion, naturalism, secularism, skepticism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780195110333
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195110333.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Russell, author
University of British Columbia
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