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Themes in Hume: The Self, the Will, Religion Paperback – January 8, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0199266357 ISBN-10: 0199266352
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Editorial Reviews

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"Penelhum is an influential, creative, and careful interpreter of Hume...Penelhum has a remarkable knack for appreciating, and indeed sympathizing with, Hume's naturalistic and secularizing aims and defending the details of some of Hume's more tangled arguements."--thics


About the Author

Terence Penelhum is in the Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199266352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199266357
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,073,871 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Llewellyn on August 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
The author, Professor Emeritus at the University of Calgary, is an eminent philosopher specializing in philosophy of religion and Hume studies. These essays, written from 1955 to 2000, deal mainly with two themes in Hume--the problems of personal identity and the self (5 essays), and Hume's philosophy of religion (5 essays). The first essay (ch. 1) is an impressive overview of Hume's system, and Ch. 7 is an analysis of Hume's moral psychology (published previously in the Cambridge Companion to Hume). The remaining essay (Ch. 8) addresses Hume's solution to the problem of free will.

My favorite essay in the book is the first one, "David Hume: An Appreciation." Here Penelhum admiringly gives us an overall perspective and evaluation of Hume's systematic philosophy. His Hume is an ironic skeptic, a founder of the human sciences (especially psychology), an empiricist, and the "most dangerous destructive critic of Christianity in modern times" (p. 18). Hume is the greatest philosopher to write in the English language (p. 245), and his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is the best work in English in the philosophy of religion (p. 18). I think this essay is a splendid point of entry for anyone approaching Hume for the first time.

The essays on the self (Ch. 2-6 inclusive) outline Hume's problematic theories in this area. His discussion is "the best there is;" Hume is "incisive, penetrating, and most unsatisfying" (p. 23). And Hume would heartily agree with this description. In the Treatise Book I Part IV Sixth Section Hume puts forth his analysis of the conundrum of personal identity. The dilemma is how we conceive and talk about single beings. People are constantly changing over time, sometimes radically so.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M-Stew on September 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating interpretations of Hume's philosophy. I would recommend this book to those in need of a guide for understanding Hume's complex ideas, especially considering Hume's language is itself complex and hard even for the very experienced and intelligent reader. This is an indispensable reference for serious students of philosophy.

***EDIT: The book is NOT 400-odd pages. It's a little bit less than 300. The book details mistakenly describes it as having four-hundred and something pages.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hiromichi Sugawara on August 16, 2014
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