Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium: Hume's Pathology of Philosophy
The Scottish philosopher David Hume is commonly understood as the original proponent of the "end of philosophy." In this powerful new study, Donald Livingston completely revises our understanding of Hume's thought through his investigation of Hume's distinction between "true" and "false" philosophy. For Hume, false philosophy leads either to melancholy over the groundlessness of common opinion or delirium over transcending it, while true philosophy leads to wisdom. Livingston traces this distinction through all of Hume's writings, providing a systematic pathology of the corrupt philosophical consciousness in history, politics, philosophy, and literature that characterized Hume's own time as well as ours.
By demonstrating how a philosophical method can be used to expose the political motivations behind intellectual positions, historical events, and their subsequent interpretations, Livingston revitalizes Hume's thought and reveals its relevance for contemporary dicussions of politics, nationalism, and ideology for the first time.
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abstract achievement American ancient appears argued arts authority autonomy barbarism become belief called central character Christian civil colonies common conception condition consciousness considered constitution corrupt critical culture custom dialectic disposition distinction divine doctrine eloquence empire English entirely established existence experience false philosophy force give heroic human Hume Hume's idea ideal imagination independent individuals interest judgment knowledge liberal liberty means ment mind modern monarchy moral nature objects observes original participation passions philo philosophical act philosophical reflection political possible practice prejudices present principle providence question rational reason refinement regime relation religion religious republic rule secession seeks sense sentiments skepticism social society speculative speech superstition theism theory things thought tion tradition Treatise true philosophy truth understanding Union universal virtue vulgar whole Wilkes writings
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Claiming Scotland: National Identity and Liberal Culture
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