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Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1729-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little aggreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions.
The solution to this riddle depends on challenging another, closely related, point of orthodoxy: namely, that before Hume published the Treatise he removed almost all material concerned with problems of religion. Russell argues, contrary to this view, that irreligious aims and objectives are fundamental to the Treatise and account for its underlying unity and coherence. It is Hume's basic anti-Christian aims and objectives that serve to shape and direct both his skeptical and naturalistic commitments. When Hume's arguments are viewed from this perspective we can solve, not only puzzles arising from his discussion of various specific issues, we can also explain the intimate and intricate connections that hold his entire project together.
This "irreligious" interpretation provides a comprehensive fresh account of the nature of Hume's fundamental aims and ambitions in the Treatise. It also presents a radically different picture of the way in which Hume's project was rooted in the debates and controversies of his own time, placing the Treatise in an irreligious or anti-Christian philosophical tradition that includes Hobbes, Spinoza and freethinking followers. Considered in these terms, Hume's Treatise constitutes the crowning achievement of the Radical Enlightenment.
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Paul Russell is Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia and the University of Gothenburg. He is also the author of Freedom and Moral Sentiment and editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Hume and (with Oisin Deery) of the The Philosophy Free Will.
"The Riddle of Hume's Treatise is a stimulating and provocative piece of scholarship. The central question it poses--how to understand all of the Treatise as part of a single project?--is most certainly a question that still needs to be asked. And Paul Russell's way of answering it, by means of a careful consideration of David Hume's intellectual context, is the only way."
--James Harris, Times Literary Supplement
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. New Book! ! ! ; 9.40 X 6.20 X 1.50 inches; 424 pages. Seller Inventory # 7541
Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0195110331
Book Description Oxford University Press, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110195110331
Book Description Condition: New. Oxford University Press, 2008. 448p. Hardback. Paul Russell has given us a marvelously good book. [He] offers original and compelling accounts of the irreligious implications of central arguments of the Treatise on an impressive range of topics. it should never again be claimed that the Treatise is largely unconcerned with questions of religion. Don Garrett, Philosophical Review (Publisher's information). Condition: New Print on Demand. Printed on Demand. Seller Inventory # 41263
Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0195110331 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0974550