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Dr. Phillipson highlights the differences between Hume's early masterpiece, the Treatise, and his later Essays, Moral Literary and Political. The former is exceedingly difficult systematic philosop...hy - a metaphysical enquiry into the nature of belief - apparently intended for solitary study by professional philosophers. The latter, written in the manner of Addison and Steele, contain hardly any discussion of philosophy; their aim seems to be to encourage tolerant, undogmatic conversation amongst friends - something that Hume believed was crucial to the acquisition of virtue. Phillipson argues that the Enquiry can be seen as drawing together the philosophical principles of the Treatise with the moral teachings of the Essay. It is not directed towards professional philosophers, but it does assume that Hume's readers are philosophically minded - that they are interested in the principles underlying their moral beliefs. It also assumes that his readers were in sympathy with the Essays - that they are interested in reflecting: undogmatically on their moral beliefs in an attempt to improve them and hence come to lead better and happier lives.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Module code and title: A204, The Enlightenment
Item code: A204; 09
Recording date: 1979-11-26
First transmission date: 15-04-1980
Published: 1980
Rights Statement: Rights owned or controlled by The Open University
Restrictions on use: This material can be used in accordance with The Open University conditions of use. A link to the conditions can be found at the bottom of all OUDA web pages.
Duration: 00:17:45
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Producer: Helen Rapp
Contributors: N. T (Nicholas T.) Phillipson; Henry Stamper
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Hume; Philosophers
Master spool number: TLN48950H943
Production number: TLN48950H943
Available to public: no