Hume's Sceptical Enlightenment

Hume's Sceptical Enlightenment

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Description

The Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume (1711-1776) has often been regarded as a key Enlightenment thinker. However, his image has been long contested between those who consider him a conservative and those who see him as a key liberal thinker. Hume's Sceptical Enlightenment offers a new interpretation for such diverse images and demonstrates the uniqueness of Hume as an Enlightenment thinker, illustrating how his 'spirit of scepticism' often leads him into seemingly paradoxical positions. This book will be of interest to Hume scholars, intellectual historians of 17th- to 19th-century Europe and those interested in the Enlightenment more widely.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 296 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 27.94mm | 702g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0748699805
  • 9780748699803
  • 2,302,742

Back cover copy

'A generation ago, Duncan Forbes lamented the "terrible campaign country" confronted by those seeking the "essential continuity of Hume's thought". Ryu Susato takes on that challenge. His nuanced account of Hume's social and political writings - including the History of England - finds continuity in what he aptly defines as Hume's Sceptical Enlightenment.' Mark G. Spencer, Brock University A systematic reinterpretation of Hume's social and political thought as an Enlightenment thinker The Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume (1711 to 1776) has often been regarded as a key Enlightenment thinker. However, his image has been long contested between those who consider him a conservative and those who see him as a key liberal thinker. Hume's Sceptical Enlightenment offers a new interpretation for such diverse images and demonstrates the uniqueness of Hume as an Enlightenment thinker, illustrating how his 'spirit of scepticism' often leads him into seemingly paradoxical positions. This book will be of interest to Hume scholars, intellectual historians of seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Europe and those interested in the Enlightenment more widely. Ryu Susato is Professor of Intellectual History at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan. Cover image: David Hume, 1711-1776. Historian & Philosopher by Allan Ramsay (c) Scottish National Portrait Gallery Cover design: Kit Foster [EUP logo] www.euppublishing.com
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Review quote

Susato provides a great deal of compelling philosophical analysis, attention to historical context and careful textual exegesis. He makes judicious contributions to a number of interpretive debates in the secondary literature. Most readers will learn from his discussion of the connection between associationism and Epicureanism in the 18th century and from how Hume's treatment of opinion draws on and differs from that of his predecessors and contemporaries. Susato's navigation of Hume's pro-luxury and anti-religious stances (especially compared to Voltaire's views) is compelling and his subtle reading of the 'Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth' illuminates a notoriously difficult text... It is a worthy addition to the scholarship on Hume's social and political philosophy.

--Angela Coventry and Alex Sager, Portland State University "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "
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About Ryu Susato

Ryu Susato is Professor of Intellectual a History at Kansai University (Osaka, Japan).
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