Among classical philosophers since Descartes, the influence of the thought of David Hume (1711-1776) on contemporary philosophy, and particularly analytic philosophy, is today second to none. In the fields of causation and general metaphysics, personal identity, epistemology, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, philosophy of religion and moral theory, Hume’s ideas have shaped philosophical debate and research more or less continuously for the best part of two and half centuries, conditioning the perspectives not only of his admirers but of many of his adversaries. In the 20th century alone, Hume’s empiricism and scepticism were recognized as formative and even dominant influences by (among many others) Bertrand Russell, Frank Ramsey, the Vienna Circle, A.J. Ayer, Richard Hare, John Rawls and J.L. Mackie.
In this tricentennial year of his birth, the Philosophy Faculty of the Institut Catholique de Paris is bringing together specialists on the philosophy of Hume from universities in both France and the U.K. for a conference which will attempt to evaluate the continuing relevance of Humean thought in key areas of contemporary philosophy. The most celebrated of these is causation, where Hume’s critique of the rationalist notion of “cause” famously woke Kant from his dogmatic slumbers and led Russell and Ayer to recognize in his sceptical onslaught a major advance in our understanding of science and of the world. Among the other themes that will be examined over these two days are: Hume’s critique of the notion of metaphysical substance, its antecedents and its influence; Hume’s philosophical anthropology; the impact of Hume’s conception of personal identity on recent philosophical theories; the connections between Hume’s atheism and scepticism and arguments in contemporary philosophy of religion; and the enduring influence of Hume’s distinctions in the field of ethics.
- With: Helen Beebee - Paul Clavier - Peter Kail - Catherine Larrère - Eléonore Le Jallé - Mich el Malherbe - Frédéric Nef - David Oderberg - Thomas Pink - Yann Schmitt - Ronan Sharkey - Anna Zielinska
- Free entry
- Institut Catholique de Paris, 21 rue d'Assas, Paris 6ème