David Hume’s Humanity

The Philosophy of Common Life and Its Limits

  • Authors
  • Scott Yenor

Part of the Recovering Political Philosophy book series (REPOPH)

About this book


Scott Yenor argues that David Hume's reputation as a skeptic is greatly exaggerated. In David Hume's Humanity, Yenor shows how Hume's skepticism is a moment leading Hume to defend a philosophy that is grounded in the inescapable assumptions of common life. Humane virtues reflect the proper reaction to the complex mixture of human faculties that define the human condition. These gentle virtues best find their home in the modern commercial republic, of which England is the leading example. Hume's defense of both common life philosophy and humanity are, however, flawed by his secretly dogmatic assumptions about the nature of history and his Enlightened approach to religious teachings and psychology. This study makes the case for Hume's manner of grounding philosophy in common life is essential to any reinvigoration of the humanities. It ultimately holds that Hume's practice of that philosophy is seriously flawed, but that a more philosophic philosophy of common life is available.


constitution metaphysics modern philosophy moral philosophy morality philosophy political history political science political theory politics revolution scepticism social philosophy sovereignty

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