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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Philosophy

Undergraduate Course: The Philosophy of David Hume (PHIL10146)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course introduces the thought of Edinburgh's most famous philosopher, David Hume. It focuses on Hume¿s general philosophy (his moral philosophy being covered in Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment). The primary reading for the course will be Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: we will also make some use of the first book of his Treatise of Human Nature and of the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
Course description We will begin by looking at Hume¿s theory of the working of the human mind, and his discussions of causation and causal inference, and then go on to consider how he applies the results of that discussion to problems of free will and religious belief. We will then look at his discussion of two other problems, the external world and personal identity, and conclude by discussing Hume¿s relation to scepticism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Mind, Matter and Language (PHIL08014) AND Knowledge and Reality (PHIL08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Philosophy courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the philosophical arguments and views presented by Edinburgh's leading philosopher in some of his definitive works.
  2. Appreciate the reasons for the place of Hume and the Enquiry in the philosophical canon.
  3. Be able to read and critically assess one of the major works in the philosophical canon.
  4. Be able to write intelligibly on a topic covered in the work and relate it to the whole.
Reading List
Primary sources:
D. Hume:
- Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
- A Treatise of Human Nature
- Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

Secondary Reading:
B. Stroud, Hume.
T. Penelhum, Hume.
H. Noonan. Hume on Knowledge.
A. Flew: Hume¿s Philosophy of Belief (a work especially about the Enquiry).
J. Jenkins, Understanding Hume.
R. Fogelin, Hume¿s Scepticism in the Treatise of Human Nature.
J. Gaskin, Hume¿s Philosophy of Religion.
J. Bennett: Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Central Themes.
D. Norton, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Hume.
P. Millican, ed. Reading Hume on Human Understanding.
S. Traiger, ed. The Blackwell Companion to Hume¿s Treatise.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will be delivered by Dr Andrew Mason
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Andrew Mason
Course secretaryMiss Samantha Bell
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602
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