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

Postgraduate Course: The Philosophy of David Hume MSc (PHIL11125)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting 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.

The course is shared with the undergraduate version The Philosophy of David Hume PHIL10146.

For courses co-taught with undergraduate students and with no remaining undergraduate spaces left, a maximum of 8 MSc students can join the course. Priority will be given to MSc students who wish to take the course for credit on a first come first served basis after matriculation.
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 Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
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
Course URL Please see Learn page
Graduate Attributes and Skills Written skills; oral communication skills; ability to analyse and follow arguments
Additional Class Delivery Information Taught by Dr Andrew Mason.
KeywordsDavid Hume,Scottish philosophy,Scepticism
Course organiserProf Theodore Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3649
Course secretaryMs Becky Verdon
Tel: (0131 6)50 3860
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