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As a young man, David Hume wrote a book that "fell still-born from the press," but was eventually recognized as one of the all-time classics of philosophy. The Treatise of Human Nature introduces and develops startling and original solutions to many of the most central problems of philosophy. Among the many questions he took up: What are causes? What is the self? What is the world outside the mind? Can you reason about what to do? What is virtue? What is property? What is the nature of aesthetic response? What is freedom of the will? Accordingly, the Treatise, which will be the focus of the course, makes for a good introduction to and overview of those problems, one that is thematically unified by Hume's intellectual accent. But it also presents a further philosophical puzzle: how could Hume have thought that all of these solutions could be true together? Along with the Treatise, we will read Hume's later and more popular Enquiries, his Essays, and some of his History of England.
Time: MWF 10:45-11:35
Location: Tanner Library (CTIHB 459)