Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hume Studies

The April 2004 Hume Studies came in the mail today. I have only browsed it briefly, but it looks good. I'm excited over one of the papers, Ira Schnall's "Constancy, Coherence, and Causality". In it she rejects Price-like interpretations of Hume's Treatise 1.4.2; which is good - I agree entirely (it was a small part of my paper at the 2003 Hume Society Conference), and it is very gratifying to see others come to the same conclusion independently. On the other hand, there is not one reference in the entire article to Treatise 1.2.4; which is, I think, the most fundamental problem with most discussion of 1.4.2. So expect some comments when I've read it more closely.

I might also comment on Guimaraes's "The Gallant and the Philosopher," which continues the unfortunate trend, started by Annette Baier, of treating Hume as an "unwitting, virtual woman" (Baier's phrase). Hume is not the most sexist man of his time by any means; but trying to make him out not to be sexist (particularly in his discussion of gallantry) is as absurd as Baier's attempt to excuse Hume's racism as a case of empiricism. Any comparison of Hume with a real egalitarian (like Beattie, for instance) will show that Hume fell well short of the mark he could have attained. Such is my antecedent doubt, anyway; I'll have to see if it stands after I've looked at the article much more closely.

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