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Hume is the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need today
A few years ago, thousands of academic philosophers were asked which non-living philosopher they most identified with. Hume came a clear first, ahead of Aristotle, Kant and Wittgenstein. Scientists, who often have little time for philosophy, often make an exception for Hume. Even the biologist Lewis Wolpert, who says philosophers are ‘very clever but have nothing useful to say whatsoever’ makes an exception for Hume, admitting that at one stage he ‘fell in love’ with him.

Yet the great Scot remains something of a philosopher’s philosopher. There have been no successful popular books on him, as there have been for the likes of Montaigne, Nietzsche, Socrates, Wittgenstein and the Stoics. Their quotes, not his, adorn mugs and tea towels, their faces gaze down from posters. Hume hasn’t ‘crossed over’ from academic preeminence to public acclaim.

The reasons why this is so are precisely the reasons why it ought not to be. Hume’s strengths as a person and a thinker mean that he does not have the kind of ‘brand’ that sells intellectuals. In short, he is not a tragic, romantic figure; his ideas do not distil into an easy-to-summarise ‘philosophy of life’; and his distaste for fanaticism of any kind made him too sensible and moderate to inspire zealotry in his admirers.
hume  philosophy 
january 2019 by terry
Hume is the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need today | Aeon Essays
Hume believed we were nothing more or less than human: that’s why he’s the amiable, modest, generous philosopher we need now
philosophy  hume 
august 2018 by pw201
Hume - Don Garrett - Google Books
Beginning with an overview of Hume's life and work, Don Garrett introduces in clear and accessible style the central aspects of Hume's thought. These include Hume's lifelong exploration of the human mind; his theories of inductive inference and causation; skepticism and personal identity; moral and political philosophy; aesthetics; and philosophy of religion. The final chapter considers the influence and legacy of Hume's thought today. Throughout, Garrett draws on and explains many ...
philosophy  hume 
november 2017 by xela
The Scotsmen Who Invented Modernity | The National Interest
Rasmussen scrutinizes not only Hume and Smith’s personal relationship, but also the indispensable part that they played in shaping the Scottish Enlightenment.
hume  modernity  adamsmith  toread 
august 2017 by xer0x

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