9780199645947

Spectres of False Divinity Hume's Moral Atheism

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780199645947

  • ISBN10:

    0199645949

  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-16
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

Spectres of False Divinity presents a historical and critical interpretation of Hume's rejection of the existence of a deity with moral attributes. In Hume's view, no first cause or designer responsible for the ordered universe could possibly have moral attributes; nor could the existence (ornon-existence) of such a being have any real implications for human practice or conduct. Hume's case for this 'moral atheism' is a central plank of both his naturalistic agenda in metaphysics and his secularizing program in moral theory. It complements his wider critique of traditional theism, andthreatens to rule out any religion that would make claims on moral practice. Thomas Holden situates Hume's commitment to moral atheism in its historical and philosophical context, offers a systematic interpretation of his case for divine amorality, and shows how Hume can endorse moral atheism while maintaining his skeptical attitude toward traditional forms of cosmologicaland theological speculation.

Author Biography

Thomas Holden is Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Abbreviationsp. xv
Hume's Moral Atheismp. 1
Mitigated Skepticism and Hume's Liminal Natural Theologyp. 19
The Argument from Sentimentalism 1: Hume's Critique of Religious Passionsp. 49
The Argument from Sentimentalism 2: Religious Passions and the Deity's Moral Statusp. 95
The Argument from Motivationp. 115
The Arguments from Evilp. 145
The Arguments from Determinismp. 181
Conclusionp. 209
Bibliographyp. 221
Indexp. 241
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