SP20 PHIL491/591

Hume’s Treatise
Professor: Marie Jayasekera
Mondays & Wednesdays  ·  12:30pm–1:45pm  ·  PH1–209

In this course, we will plunge headlong into David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–1740), considered by many to be among the most significant and influential works in Western philosophy. The project in the Treatise is to provide a ‘science of human nature’, which includes an account of knowledge, the passions, and morality. In so doing, Hume discussed inductive inference, causation, personal identity, free will, sentiment as the basis of moral concepts, the limits of reason, and virtue and vice. Our goal will be to make our way through enough of the Treatise to gain a sense of it as a systematic whole. To do so, we may also draw on parts of the two Enquiries as well as the secondary literature.