dunnettreader + hume-causation   19

Jennifer Smalligan Marušić - Refuting The Whole System? Hume's Attack on Popular Religion (2012) - The Philosophical Quarterly - Wiley Online Library
Refuting The Whole System? Hume's Attack on Popular Religion in 'The Natural History of Religion' -- There is reason for genuine puzzlement about Hume's aim in ‘The Natural History of Religion’. Some commentators take the work to be merely a causal investigation into the psychological processes and environmental conditions that are likely to give rise to the first religions, an investigation that has no significant or straightforward implications for the rationality or justification of religious belief. Others take the work to constitute an attack on the rationality and justification of religious belief in general. In contrast to these views, I argue that Hume aims to establish two important claims in ‘The Natural History of Religion’. First, almost all popular religions, including popular monotheism, are deeply superstitious. Second, superstitious monotheism is incompatible with the variety of theism supported by the argument from design. This incompatibility puts significant pressure on the rational acceptability of popular religions.
article  paywall  Wiley  18thC  Hume-religion  Hume-causation  natural_religion  superstition  reason  design-nature 
november 2016 by dunnettreader
Emily Nacol - An Age of Risk: Politics and Economy in Early Modern Britain (2016) | Princeton University Press (eBook and Hardcover)
In An Age of Risk, Emily Nacol shows that risk, now treated as a permanent feature of our lives, did not always govern understandings of the future. Focusing on the epistemological, political, and economic writings of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Adam Smith, Nacol explains that in 17th-18thC Britain, political and economic thinkers reimagined the future as a terrain of risk, characterized by probabilistic calculation, prediction, and control. Nacol contends, we see 3 crucial developments in thought on risk and politics. While thinkers differentiated uncertainty about the future from probabilistic calculations of risk, they remained attentive to the ways uncertainty and risk remained in a conceptual tangle, a problem that constrained good decision making. They developed sophisticated theories of trust and credit as crucial background conditions for prudent risk-taking, and offered complex depictions of the relationships and behaviors that would make risk-taking more palatable. They also developed 2 narratives that persist in subsequent accounts of risk—risk as a threat to security, and risk as an opportunity for profit. Nacol locates the origins of our own ambivalence about risk-taking. By the end of the 18thC, a new type of political actor would emerge from this ambivalence, one who approached risk with fear rather than hope. -- Emily C. Nacol is assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.
Chapter 1 Introduction 1
Chapter 2 “Experience Concludeth Nothing Universally” - Hobbes and the Groundwork for a Political Theory of Risk 9
Chapter 3 The Risks of Political Authority - Trust, Knowledge, and Political Agency in Locke’s Politics and Economy 41
Chapter 4 Hume’s Fine Balance - On Probability, Fear, and the Risks of Trade 69
Chapter 5 Adventurous Spirits and Clamoring Sophists - Smith on the Problem of Risk in Political Economy 98
Chapter 6 An Age of Risk, a Liberalism of Anxiety 124
Notes 131 -- References 157 -- Index 167
Downloaded Chapter 1 to Tab S2
books  kindle-available  downloaded  intellectual_history  17thC  18thC  British_history  Hobbes  Locke  Locke-Essay  Locke-2_Treatises  Hume  Hume-causation  Hume-politics  Smith  political_economy  trade  commerce  commercial_interest  epistemology  epistemology-history  probability  risk  risk_assessment  uncertainty  insurance  risk_shifting  political_discourse  economic_culture 
september 2016 by dunnettreader
The Philosopher's Stone: BE PREPARED! - July 2016
Now let me turn to a more important matter, namely my forthcoming lecture series on the Critique of Pure Reason . The launch of the series is only five weeks… Preparation reading - especially sections of Hume's Treatise
Kant  courses  video  Hume  Hume-causation  Wolff_RP  from instapaper
july 2016 by dunnettreader
Leo Damrosh - The Enlightenment: Invention of the Modern Self | The Great Courses
Enlightenment Invention of the Modern Self - from opening views in 17thC, through stages of the Enlightenment - a road to its (inevitable?) backlash in Romanticism
24 lectures
Only available as Audio download (and streaming) - list price $130
Rave reviews
Uses literary works and philosophical texts together
Frex completes the 2 lectures on British empiricism (focus on Locke and Hume re the self) with how Pope struggles with capturing complex psychology within the empiricist framework
After an introduction of 17thC religious and secular conceptions of the self, starts with 2 on La Princesse de Clèves
After empiricism, 2 on Voltaire and theodicy in Candide
3 lectures on Diderot and Jacques le fataliste
A lot of Rousseau - not the novels but the autobiographical works - how he analyzes himself in Confessions and Solitary Walker
Lots of biography, with Boswell's Johnson the vehicle
Some Franklin and Smith
Finishes with Laclos and Blake
Romanticism  bibliography  reason-passions  poetry  Boswell  self  moral_psychology  French_Enlightenment  Enlightenment  English_lit  French_Revolution-impact  Rousseau  free_will  Locke-education  buy  human_nature  Diderot  Blake_William  Locke  Hume-causation  autobiography  17thC  Rousseau-self  Hume-ethics  altruism  Johnson  Voltaire  novels  empiricism  18thC  moral_philosophy  Locke-Essay  intellectual_history  cultural_history  Pope_Alexander  courses  French_lit  Smith  Hume  determinism  epistemology  emotions  character  audio  psychology 
april 2016 by dunnettreader
Robert Wolff - The Philosopher's Stone: Kant’s 1st Critique leaves no place for the free will of the 2nd Critique - August 2014
I shall today undertake in a very lengthy post to reprise what I think is my most important contribution to our understanding of Kant's theories, namely my argument that the deepest conclusions of Kant's theoretical philosophy -- his epistemology, as we would call it today -- undermine and contradict the core theses of his moral theory. The argument, which I have made in several places not much noticed by the scholarly world, is, to the best of my knowledge, original with me and has neither been anticipated nor commented upon by any other Kant scholars.
intellectual_history  18thC  Kant  Kant-ethics  scepticism  epistemology  Hume-causation  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Review by: Georges Dicker - Don Garrett, Cognition and Commitment in Hume's Philosophy | JSTOR: The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Dec., 1998), pp. 447-449
Summary, chapter by chapter, without critique of Garrett take on Hume as a cognitive psychologist, and especially his brand of scepticism re induction, causation and self, but also covering moral philosophy (moral sentiments and role of reason in moral judgment). Where Garrett sees Hume diverging from Locke -- didn't download
books  reviews  jstor  intellectual_history  18thC  Hume  Hume-ethics  Hume-causation  scepticism  reason-passions  moral_sentiments  moral_philosophy  morality-conventional  Locke  self  identity 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Lucy Allais - Intrinsic Natures: A Critique of Langton on Kant | JSTOR: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Jul., 2006), pp. 143-169
This paper argues that there is an important respect in which Rae Langton's recent interpretation of Kant is correct: Kant's claim that we cannot know things in themselves should be understood as the claim that we cannot know the intrinsic nature of things. However, I dispute Langton's account of intrinsic properties, and therefore her version of what this claim amounts to. Langton's distinction between intrinsic, causally inert properties and causal powers is problematic, both as an interpretation of Kant, and as an independent metaphysical position. I propose a different reading of the claim that we cannot know things intrinsically. I distinguish between two ways of knowing things: in terms of their effects on other things, and as they are apart from these. I argue that knowing things' powers is knowing things in terms of effects on other things, and therefore is not knowing them as they are in themselves, and that there are textual grounds for attributing this position to Kant. -- useful bibliography of past few decades of both Kant debate and powers, properties etc metaphysics -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  books  intellectual_history  18thC  Kant  metaphysics  epistemology  causation  Hume-causation  Locke  Leibniz  noumena  phenomena  properties  essence  substance  relations  bibliography  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Galen Strawson - Realism and Causation | JSTOR: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 148 (Jul., 1987), pp. 253-277
This looks like early work towards his "necessary connexion" book on Hume that challenges the standard regularity interpretation of Hume on causality. Bibliography looks useful -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  metaphysics  intellectual_history  philosophy_of_science  18thC  Hume-causation  causation  realism  scepticism  positivism  properties  laws_of_nature  powers  downloaded  EF-add 
august 2014 by dunnettreader
Kenan Malik - A BOOK IN PROGRESS [PART 11]: HUME, IS AND OUGHT | Pandaemonium - Dec 2012
For Hume, then, moral duties and obligations cannot be rationally deduced from purely factual premises. Hence the failure of much traditional moral philosophy that sought through reasoned argument to deduce ought from is. He does not argue, however, that values cannot derive from the facts of the world, nor that there is an unbridgeable chasm between facts and values. Distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, were, for Hume, the products not of reason but of a moral sense. But moral sense was itself a natural disposition, an aspect of human nature. Indeed, Hume claims that ‘no action can be virtuous, or morally good, unless there be in human nature some motive to produce it, distinct from the sense of its morality’. Patricia Churchland’s reading of Hume seems more appropriate, then, than that of philosophers who claim that for Hume values do not, and cannot, derive from the facts of the world. Her insistence that Hume accepted that ‘in a much broader sense of “infer” than derive you can infer (figure out) what you ought to do, drawing on knowledge, perception, emotions and understanding, and balancing considerations against each other’, and that morally, just as socially, humans could ‘figure out what to do based on the facts of the case, and our background understanding’ appears in keeping with the spirit of Hume’s argument.
intellectual_history  18thC  Hume-ethics  Hume-causation  moral_sentiments  taste  induction  fact-value  scepticism-Academic  Pyrrhonism  EF-add 
may 2014 by dunnettreader
Jeffrey A. Bell, review - Adrian Johnston, Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism, Volume One: The Outcome of Contemporary French Philosophy // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // Dec 2013
In this first of a projected three-volume Prolegomena to Any Future Materialism, Adrian Johnston places his materialist philosophy into the lineage of contemporary French philosophy. The French philosophers Johnston has most in mind are Jacques Lacan, Alain Badiou, and Quentin Meillassoux, and each of them fails, on Johnston’s reading, despite professed intentions to the contrary, to develop a thoroughly materialist philosophy. ...each ultimately “backslides” into a form of religious thinking that is also coupled with an under-appreciation of, if not outright hostility to, the life sciences. It is precisely by developing the philosophical implications of recent developments in the life sciences, and in particular the neurosciences (on this point Johnston follows Catherine Malabou), that a proper materialist philosophy can be established .... Johnston’s focus upon the work of Lacan and his disciples is not simply to lay out a critical exegesis but rather to fulfill the promise of a materialist philosophy that can only be accomplished, Johnston argues, if one properly harnesses Lacan’s central insight - namely, the idea that the real entails an irreducible gap or rupture. By contrast, a common metaphysical assumption that is shared by both naïve scientific materialism and religious theism, Johnston argues, is the notion that Nature/God is an inviolable “One-All.” -- If one aligns one’s metaphysical views of materialism with contemporary life sciences, however, Johnston claims that we no longer have the “big Other,” the “self-consistent One-All” that provides the metaphysical foundation for science; to the contrary, “what remains,” Johnston argues, “lacks any guarantee of consistency right down to the bedrock of ontological fundaments.” (23). Instead of a material being that is a consistent One-All and a continuation of the “idea of God,” we have “antagonisms and oppositions at the very heart of material being.” (24). -- Key to this effort is the development of the concept of weak nature, a concept that Johnston derives from Hume’s project (of which more below) and which will become the central topic of the second volume of Johnston’s Prolegomena, titled Weak Nature.
books  reviews  continental_philosophy  materialism  scientism  metaphysics  ontology  theism  dialectic  Hume-causation  scepticism  EF-add 
march 2014 by dunnettreader
SIMON BLACKBURN - The Majesty of Reason | JSTOR: Philosophy, Vol. 85, No. 331 (January 2010), pp. 5-27
In this paper I contemplate two phenomena that have impressed theorists concerned with the domain of reasons and of what is now called ‘normativity’. One is the much-discussed ‘externality’ of reasons. According to this, reasons are just there, anyway. They exist whether or not agents take any notice of them. They do not only exist in the light of contingent desires or mere inclinations. They are ‘external’ not ‘internal’. They bear on us, even when through ignorance or wickedness we take no notice of them. They thus very conspicuously shine the lights of objectivity, and independence, and even necessity. By basking in this light, ethics is rescued from the slough of sentiment and preference, and regains the dignity denied to it by theorists such as Hobbes or Hume, Williams, Gibbard or myself. Hence, many contemporary philosophers compete to stress and to extol the external nature of reasons, their shining objectivity. The other phenomenon is that of the inescapable ‘normativity’ of means-ends reasoning. Here the irrationality of intending an end but failing to intend the means is a different shining beacon. It is that of pure practical reason in operation: an indisputable norm, again showing a sublime indifference to whatever weaknesses people actually have, and ideally fitted to provide a Trojan horse for inserting rationality into practical life. If the means-end principle is both unmistakably practical and yet the darling child of rationality itself, then other principles of consistency or of humanity, or of universalizing the maxims of our action, can perhaps follow through the breach in the Humean citadel that it has spearheaded. And so we get the dazzling prospect that if people who choose badly are choosing against reason, then this can be seen to be a special and grave defect. It would locate the kind of fault they are indulging. It would give us, the people of reason, a special lever with which to dislodge their vices. Being able to herd knaves and villains in a compound reserved for those who trespass against reason and rationality therefore represents definite progress. -- paywall Cambridge -- see bibliography on jstor information page
article  jstor  paywall  moral_philosophy  moral_psychology  human_nature  Hume-ethics  Hume-causation  reason-passions  reasons-internalism  reasons-externalism  action-theory  normativity  practical_reason  practical_knowledge  Williams_Bernard  judgment-emotions  reason  bibliography  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Jim Stone - Skepticism as a Theory of Knowledge | JSTOR: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Vol. 60, No. 3 (May, 2000), pp. 527-545
Bringing something like mitigated skepticism up to date with brains in vats and conditional truths in possible worlds. In addition to external world he deals with induction and knowledge of the past -- Skepticism about the external world may very well be correct, so the question is in order: what theory of knowledge flows from skepticism itself? The skeptic can give a relatively simple and intuitive account of knowledge by identifying it with indubitable certainty. Our everyday `I know that p' claims, which typically are part of practical projects, deploy the ideal of knowledge to make assertions closely related to, but weaker than, knowledge claims. The truth of such claims is consistent with skepticism; various other vexing problems don't arise. In addition, even if no claim about the world outside my mind can be more probable than its negation, the project of pure scientific research remains well motivated.
article  jstor  epistemology  analytical_philosophy  21stC  scepticism  Hume  Hume-causation  downloaded  EF-add 
february 2014 by dunnettreader
Scott Yenor - Revealed Religion and the Politics of Humanity in Hume's Philosophy of Common Life | JSTOR: Polity, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Jul., 2006), pp. 395-415
Hume's philosophy of common life consists in two moments: philosophic agnosticism about deep irresolvable metaphysical issues and a willingness to assume the common sense of the matter so that philosophy can proceed. This method works so long as he maintains agnosticism in the metaphysical issues as he entertains the common sense assumptions. When Hume turns his attention to revealed religion, however, his common life philosophy breaks down as his anti-transcendent metaphysic contaminates his assumptions; his embrace of humanity as the chief virtue of the modern world illuminates this contamination, as does his suggestion that religious belief might be extinguished in the modern world. -- downloaded pdf to Note
article  jstor  intellectual_history  18thC  Hume  scepticism  Hume-causation  anti-foundationalism  epistemology  religious_belief  downloaded  EF-add 
january 2014 by dunnettreader
Daniel Little - Guest post by Ruth Groff on causal powers | Understanding Society Jan 2014
Do you have to be an Aristotelian to believe in causal powers? -- Discusses 5 separate factors that together might be construed as a coherent Aristotelian position (leaving out teleological purpose of powers) which anti-passivists may or may not share. 1. Materialism, 2. Potentiality, 3. Essential properties, 4. Emergence (whole more than sum of parts or plurality), 5. Powers as capacity for doing. She points out that both Locke and Leibniz accepted powers without Locke at least being Aristotelian. She concludes that one can coherently accept causal powers without embracing all 5, although materialism and potentiality are fairly natural fits with powers, and something along the lines of essential properties is required to differentiate what things have or are characterized by specific powers and which are not. Emergence looks to her like comfortable but not necessary fit. As asides to her main discussion of "anti-passivists" are her characterizations of Hume on causation, which seems to me typical of 20thC interpretations of Hume as arch sceptic and denier of causation - as distinct from his denial of *knowledge* as an academic sceptic and, therefore, his assertion that it's unwarranted to extend names we give to things we experience but don't understand (eg powers) to metaphysical or theological speculation. She is not taking the "academic sceptic" interpretation of Hume -- simply saying we can't explain causal powers but can only identify regularity of connection. Instead, she quotes him that "power" is meaningless -- but Hume didn't deny gravity as causal factor but rather that we couldn't explain what gravity is in an "essential" sense beyond regular connections that had predictable outcomes -- calling gravity a "power" didn't add any explanatory information to gravity's causality or enlighten us about other causally relevant features of the physical world that we also label "powers", and certainly didn't warrant willy nilly applying "power" to our metaphysical and theological fantasies.
causation-social  social_theory  causation  neo-Aristotelian  Hume-causation  emergence  scepticism 
january 2014 by dunnettreader

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