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  1. Hume and the Rotting Turnip.Michael Jacovides - manuscript
    Right after Philo’s about-face in Part 12 of the Dialogues, he gives an argument that the dispute between the theist and the atheist is merely verbal. Since everything is at least a little like everything else, the atheist must concede that the source of order is at least remotely like a human intellect, even if this source is something like a rotting turnip. This passage provides a major argument for dismissing Hume’s apparent avowals of theism in the Dialogues and elsewhere, (...)
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  2. Introduction to "Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide".Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This introduction provides a brief overview of the issues and arguments that arise in Hume's _Dialogues concerning Natural Religion_ (1779). It also provides a few brief comments relating to the historical context in which this text should be interpreted , as well as an account of the place of the _Dialogues_ in relation to Hume's other philosophical works.
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  3. Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide.Paul Russell (ed.) - forthcoming - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Contributors: -/- John Beatty (British Columbia); Kelly James Clark (Ibn Haldun, Istanbul); Angela Coventry (Portland State); Thomas Holden (UC Santa Barbara); Willem Lemmens (Antwerp); Robin Le Poidevin (Leeds); Jennifer Marusic (Edinburgh); Kevin Meeker (South Alabama); Amyas Merivale (Oxford); Peter Millican (Oxford); Dan O’Brien (Oxford Brookes); Graham Oppy (Monash); Paul Russell (Lund); Andre C. Willis (Brown).
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  4. Ambiguity and "Atheism" in Hume's Dialogues.Paul Russell - forthcoming - In Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    This paper considers the question of “atheism” as it arises in Hume’s _Dialogues_. It argues that the concept of “atheism” involves several signficiant ambiguities that are indicative of philosophical and interpretive disagreements of a more substantial nature. It defends the view that Philo’s general sceptical orientation accurately represents Hume’s own “irreligious” and “atheistic” commitments, both in the _Dialogues_ and in his other (“earlier”) writings. While Hume was plainly a “speculative atheist”, his “practical atheism” was targeted more narrowly against “superstition” - (...)
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  5. David Hume and the Philosophy of Religion.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1-20.
    David Hume (1711-1776) is widely recognized as one of the most influential and significant critics of religion in the history of philosophy. There remains, nevertheless, considerable disagreement about the exact nature of his views. According to some, he was a skeptic who regarded all conjectures relating to religious hypotheses to be beyond the scope of human understanding – he neither affirmed nor denied these conjectures. Others read him as embracing a highly refined form of “true religion” of some kind. On (...)
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  6. Hume’s Critique of Religion: Sick Men’s Dreams, by A. Bailey & D. O'Brien. [REVIEW]Paul Russell - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):867-70.
    Hume’s Critique of Religion is a valuable and rewarding contribution to Hume scholarship. The atheistic interpretation that the authors defend is well supported and convincingly argued. Although Gaskin’s Hume’s Philosophy of Religion is (rightly) highly regarded, I believe that Bailey and O’Brien provide a more compelling and convincing interpretation. Their account is, in particular, much stronger in respect of the historical background and contextual considerations that they draw on to support of their interpretation. These historical advances are achieved without weakening (...)
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  7. Toward a Humean True Religion: Genuine Theism, Moderate Hope, and Practical Morality by Andre C. Willis. [REVIEW]Paul Russell - 2017 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 55 (1):168-169.
    Andre Willis argues that although Hume is generally credited with being a “devastating critic” of religion, it is a mistake to view Hume solely in these terms or to present him as an “atheist.” This not only represents a failure to appreciate Hume’s “middle path” between “militant atheists and evangelical theists”, it denies us an opportunity to “enhance” our understanding and appreciation of the positive, constructive value of religion through a close study of Hume’s views. Willis’s study presents Hume as (...)
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  8. Causation, Cosmology and the Limits of Reason.Paul Russell - 2013 - In James Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century,. New York, NY, USA: pp. 599-620.
    For well over a century the dominant narrative covering the major thinkers and themes of early modern British philosophy has been that of “British Empiricism”, within which the great triumvirate of Locke-Berkeley-Hume are taken to be the dominant figures. Although it is now common to question this schema as a way of analyzing and understanding the period in question, it continues to command considerable authority and acceptance. (One likely reason for this is that no credible or plausible alternatives structures or (...)
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  9. Hume's Legacy and the Idea of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2012 - In Alan Bailey & Dan O'Brien (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Hume. Continuum. pp. 377.
    David Hume’s views on the subject of free will are among the most influential contributions to this long-disputed topic. Throughout the twentieth century, and into this century, Hume has been widely regarded as having presented the classic defense of the compatibilist position, the view that freedom and responsibility are consistent with determinism. Most of Hume’s core arguments on this issue are found in the sections entitled “Of liberty and necessity,” first presented in Book 2 of A Treatise of Human Nature (...)
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  10. Hume's Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2012 - In Alan Bailey & Dan O'Brien (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Hume. Continuum. pp. 377-395.
    This chapter outlines an alternative interpretation of Hume’s philosophy, one that aims, among other things, to explain some of the most perplexing puzzles concerning the relationship between Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism. The key to solving these puzzles, it is argued, rests with recognizing Hume’s fundamental irreligious aims and objectives, beginning with his first and greatest work, A Treatise of Human Nature. The irreligious interpretation not only reconfigures our understanding of the unity and structure of Hume’s thought, it also provides (...)
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  11. The Riddle of Hume's Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion.Paul Russell - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY PRIZE for the best published book in the history of philosophy [Awarded in 2010] _______________ -/- Although it is widely recognized that David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) belongs among the greatest works of philosophy, there is little agreement about the correct way to interpret his fundamental intentions. It is an established orthodoxy among almost all commentators that skepticism and naturalism are the two dominant themes in this work. The difficulty has been, (...)
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  12. “Traktat Hume’a i problem cnotliwego ateizmu” [“Hume’s Treatise and the Problem of Virtuous Atheism”],.Paul Russell - 2007 - Nowa Krytyka 20:333-380. Translated by Tomasz Sieczkowski & Mateusz Oleksy.
    In this paper I provide an irreligious interpretation of Hume’s fundamental aims and objectives in his 'Treatise of Human Nature' as regards his moral theory. According to the irreligious interpretation, there are two key claims that Hume seeks to establish in the Treatise in respect of morality. The first is that Hume defends the “autonomy of morality” in relation to religion. The foundations of moral and political life, he holds, rests with our human nature, not with the doctrines and dogmas (...)
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  13. Hume on Religion.Paul Russell - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Hume's various writings concerning problems of religion are among the most important and influential contributions on this topic. In these writings Hume advances a systematic, sceptical critique of the philosophical foundations of various theological systems. Whatever interpretation one takes of Hume's philosophy as a whole, it is certainly true that one of his most basic philosophical objectives is to unmask and discredit the doctrines and dogmas of orthodox religious belief. There are, however, some significant points of disagreement about the (...)
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  14. David Hume's Critique of Religion and its Implications for Contemporary Theology.John Hendricks - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Chicago
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  15. Responsibility Naturalized: A Qualified Defence of Hume.Paul Russell - 1995 - In Freedom and Moral Sentiment: Hume's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 170-185.
    This concluding chapter of FREEDOM AND MORAL SENTIMENT (OUP 1995) provides a qualified defense of Hume's naturalistic approach to the problem of free will and moral responsibility. A particularly important theme is the contrast between Hume's naturalistic approach and the “rationalistic” approach associated with classical compatibilism. Whereas the rationalistic approach proceeds as an a priori, conceptual investigation into the nature and conditions of moral responsibility, the naturalistic approach is committed to an empirically oriented (i.e., psychologically informed) examination of these issues (...)
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  16. Epigram, Pantheists, and Freethought in Hume's Treatise: A study in esoteric communication.Paul Russell - 1993 - Journal of the History of Ideas 54 (4):659-673.
    Hume's Treatise of Human Nature was published in the form of three separate books. The first two, "Of the Understanding" and "Of the Pas- sions," were published in London in January 1739 by John Noon. The third, "Of Morals," was published independently in London by Thomas Longman in November 1740.2 The title and subtitles on all three books are the same: A Treatise of Human Nature: Being An Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. On the (...)
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  17. 'Atheism' and the Title-Page of Hume's Treatise.Paul Russell - 1988 - Hume Studies 14 (2):408-423.
    In this paper I will describe certain significant features of the title-page of Hume's Treatise which have gone largely unnoticed. My discussion will focus on two features of the titlepage. First, Hume's Treatise shares its title with a relevant and well-known work by Hobbes. Second, the epigram of the title-page, which is taken from Tacitus, also serves as the title for the final chapter of Spinoza's Tractatus Theologico-Politicus. In the seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries Hobbes and Spinoza were infamous as the (...)
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  18. Skepticism and Natural Religion in Hume's Treatise.Paul Russell - 1988 - Journal of the History of Ideas 49 (2):247.
    My principal objective in this essay will be to show that the widely held view that Hume's Treatise' is not significantly or "directly" concerned with problems of religion is seriously mistaken. I shall approach this issue by way of an examination of a major skeptical theme that runs throughout the Treatise; namely, Hume's skepticism regarding the powers of demonstrative reason. In this paper I shall be especially concerned to bring to light the full significance of this skeptical theme by placing (...)
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  19. Hume's Treatise and Hobbes's the Elements of Law.Paul Russell - 1985 - Journal of the History of Ideas 46 (1):51.
    The central thesis of this paper is that the scope and structure of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature is modelled, or planned, after that of Hobbes's The Elements of Law and that in this respect there exists an important and unique relationship between these works. This relationship is of some importance for at least two reasons. First, it is indicative of the fundamental similarity between Hobbes's and Hume's project of the study of man. Second, and what is more important, by (...)
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