Thursday, August 19, 2010

Warburton about Hume

Philosopher and podcaster Nigel Warburton, whom we know first and foremost from the podcast Philosophy Bites (see post yesterday), has written a book Philosophy, The Classics. This book gives an entry point to philosophy by means of an introduction to a series of classical works in philosophy. From Plato's Republic to Kierkegaard's either/or.

True to his calling Warburton has made a promotional podcast for this book: Philosophy: The Classics. (feed) Among others there are two episodes about David Hume and I enjoyed those greatly. One is about the Dialogues by Hume, the other about the book Enquiry. The two podcasts have some overlap, just as Hume's works overlapped, but that will only enhance recognition and understanding.

I knew Hume and his version of Skepticism as it addressed the problem of induction - we make induction all the time, assuming that what he have seen repeatedly will also be repeated in the future. But Hume shows that there is strictly no rational reason to make such an inductive assumption. Warburton introduces to us a couple of other (related) issues Hume discusses in these works. Proof of God's existence and proof for miracles for example. Here I learned how Hume's Skepticism played a role in theological matter and how Hume was assumed to be an atheist although he may not have wanted to identify himself as such.

Philosophy, The Classics - Nigel Warburton