This course is devoted to the theoretical and practical philosophy of David Hume (1711-1776). Topics include: the science of human nature, the theory of impressions and ideas, causation and necessary connection, belief and rules of reason, the self, the existence of external objects, skeptical despair, the nature of the will and its freedom, the foundations and character of morality, natural and artificial virtues, the grounds of political obligation, natural religion. Our principal text will be the monumental A Treatise of Human Nature, supplemented with other readings from Hume’s Essays and Enquiries. Emphasis throughout will be on close examination of the primary texts. No strict prerequisites, but the course is designed for upper division undergraduates with some prior experience of philosophy.
Required texts: A Treatise of Human Nature, edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton, OUP; Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals, edited by L. A. Selby-Bigge, 3rd ed. revised by P. H. Nidditch, OUP.