Download A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume's Treatise by Annette C. Baier PDF

By Annette C. Baier

Annette Baier's goal is to make experience of David Hume's Treatise as an entire. Hume's relatives motto, which appears to be like on his bookplate, was once "True to the End." Baier argues that it's not till the tip of the Treatise that we get his complete tale approximately "truth and falsehood, cause and folly." via the tip, we will see the reason to which Hume has been precise in the course of the paintings.

Baier reveals Hume's Treatise of Human Nature to be a gently crafted literary and philosophical paintings which itself monitors a philosophical development of sentiments. His beginning is an excessively summary intellectualism that intentionally thrusts passions and social issues into the history. within the 3 interrelated books of the Treatise , his "self-understander" proceeds via partial successes and dramatic disasters to emerge with new-found optimism, waiting for that the "exact wisdom" the morally self-conscious anatomist of human nature can collect will itself enhance and proper our imaginative and prescient of morality. Baier describes how, through turning philosophy towards human nature rather than towards God and the universe, Hume initiated a brand new philosophy, a broader self-discipline of mirrored image which can embody Charles Darwin and Michel Foucault in addition to William James and Sigmund Freud. Hume belongs either to our current and to our previous.

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Additional info for A Progress of Sentiments: Reflections on Hume's Treatise

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Now he has plunged into that boundless ocean, abandoning altogether both the leaky vessel and the shifting rocks and sands, and, after going briefly under, he is swimming free, gathering new strength. " The very distraction that was offered and refused earlier, thoughtless amusement which enables a forgetting of the difficulties, now takes over and "cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium" (T. 269). Why can distraction work now, whereas a half page earlier it could not? ), can dispel the dark clouds that reason had produced, but only when they have intensified to their deepest pitch, when total despair has set in, and is recognized as a state of feeling, an overheating of the brain.

When "grief and disappointment give rise to anger," the explanation need not be that these passions have kept company before, that we are reenacting an infantile scenario. 9 For the same explanation will be The Account of Association 41 given of the first as of the subsequent occurrences of this sort of passion-sequence, namely the hedonic resemblance, the "agreement" (see T. 283) between these passions, their intrinsic "suitability" to each other. Hume invokes the association of impressions by hedonic resemblance, along with the association of ideas by resemblance, contiguity or causation, to explain, in the first instance, why the "separate pleasure" that a fine cloak is taken to give anyone who sees or recalls it will lead to the more special pleasure of a glow of pride, when the cloak is one's own.

In it, as in "I am not a thinker," the words deny what the saying of them shows. The "building" of the maxim to restrict reason's scope itself extends that scope beyond the formulated restrictions. Such a contradiction is "express" in that the act of expression defeats the expressed resolve. The "manifest contradiction" of renouncing pretensions to norms of reason or reflectiveness is "express" in this sense. Since the buildup to this renunciation has itself been a process of reasoned or norm-guided reflection, this contradiction is of the same expression-dependent or pragmatic type.

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