What is reason? What is reasoning? In 1739-40, David Hume published a radical critique of the standard philosophical answers to these questions in his Treatise on Human Nature. His critique includes some of the most influential skeptical arguments in the history of philosophy. In this course, we will study Hume's Treatise to understand Hume's account of reasoning and to consider what we can learn from his skeptical arguments. The course requirements include a midterm exam, a final exam (one-half in class, one-half take home), and short in-class writing assignments. No freshmen. Prerequisites: One previous course in philosophy or the permission of the instructor.
TEXTS: David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature (Oxford Philosophical Texts); David Norton, Cambridge Companion to Hume.