A Progress of Sentiments

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Harvard University Press, 1991 - Philosophy - 333 pages
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Annette Baier‚e(tm)s aim is to make sense of David Hume‚e(tm)s Treatise as a whole. Hume‚e(tm)s family motto, which appears on his bookplate, was ‚eoeTrue to the End.‚e Baier argues that it is not until the end of the Treatise that we get his full story about ‚eoetruth and falsehood, reason and folly.‚e By the end, we can see the cause to which Hume has been true throughout the work.Baier finds Hume‚e(tm)s Treatise on Human Nature to be a carefully crafted literary and philosophical work which itself displays a philosophical progress of sentiments. His starting place is an overly abstract intellectualism that deliberately thrusts passions and social concerns into the background. In the three interrelated books of the Treatise, his ‚eoeself-understander‚e proceeds through partial successes and dramatic failures to emerge with new-found optimism, expecting that the ‚eoeexact knowledge‚e the morally self-conscious anatomist of human nature can acquire will itself improve and correct our vision of morality. Baier describes how, by turning philosophy toward human nature instead of toward God and the universe, Hume initiated a new philosophy, a broader discipline of reflection that can embrace Charles Darwin and Michel Foucault as well as William James and Sigmund Freud. Hume belongs both to our present and to our past.
 

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Contents

Philosophy in This Careless Manner
1
Other Relations The Account of Association
28
Customary Transitions from Causes to Effects
54
Necessity Nature Norms
78
The Simple Supposition of Continued Existence
101
Persons and the Wheel of Their Passions
129
The Direction of Our Conduct
152
The Contemplation of Character
174
A Catalogue of Virtues
198
The Laws of Nature
220
The Shelter of Governors
255
Reason and Reflection
277
Chronology
291
Notes
295
Index
325
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About the author (1991)

Annette C. Baier was Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy, Emerita, at the University of Pittsburgh. She also taught at the philosophy department of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

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