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Professor Raphael argues that Hume's position about religion is better characterised as that or a 'sceptic' than that of an 'atheist' or 'agnostic'.
Metadata describing this Open University audio programme
Module code and title: A204, The Enlightenment
Item code: A204; 28
Recording date: 1979-08-02
First transmission date: 02-09-1980
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: 00:18:30
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Producer: Helen Rapp
Contributors: David Raphael; Henry Stamper
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Deism; Theism
Footage description: Professor Raphael maintains that Smith's position was initially that of a Christian but that under the influence of Hume, he gradually abandoned any commitment to theism. Then, in the 'Wealth of Nations', he refers to the benificent operation of 'an invisible hand', this phrase is not to be taken literally. Smith's belief in a natural harmony of economic interests derives from his observation of social relations and the workings of the market. The belief in underlying regularity is not one for which Smith sought an objective support. He held, on the contrary, that a scientific theory in which such regularities are affirmed is a product of the human imagination. He had therefore, Raphael implies, an alternative account of natural harmony to that offered by those who take it as evidence of a providential design.
Master spool number: TLN31950H823
Production number: TLN31950H823
Available to public: no