New Book: Hume’s True Scepticism

Donald C. Ainslie’s new book, Hume’s True Scepticism has been released by Oxford University Press. The book’s official description and table of contents can be found below. Donald Ainslie is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto.


David Hume is famous as a skeptical philosopher but the nature of his skepticism is difficult to pin down. Hume’s True Scepticism provides the first sustained interpretation of Part 4 of Book 1 of Hume’s Treatise, his deepest engagement with skeptical arguments. Hume notes there that, while reason shows that we ought not to believe the verdicts of reason or the senses, we do so nonetheless. Donald C. Ainslie argues that Hume uses our reactions to the sceptical arguments as evidence in favour of his model of the mind. If we were self-conscious subjects, superintending our rational and sensory beliefs, nothing should stop us from embracing the sceptical conclusions. But instead our minds are bundles of perceptions with our beliefs being generated, not by reflective assent, but by the imagination’s association of ideas. We are not forced into the skeptical quagmire. Nonetheless, we can reflect and philosophy uses this capacity to question whether we should believe our instinctive rational and sensory verdicts. It turns out that we cannot answer this question because the reflective investigation of the mind interferes with the associative processes involved in reason and sensation. We thus must accept our rational and sensory capacities without being able to vindicate or undermine them philosophically.
Hume’s True Scepticism addresses Hume’s theory of representation; his criticisms of Locke, Descartes, and other predecessors; his account of the imagination; his understanding of perceptions and sensory belief; and his bundle theory of the mind and his later rejection of it.

Table of Contents:

1. Total Scepticism and the Challenge to Reason
2. The Phenomenology of Sensory Experience
3. Coherence, Constancy, and the Belief in Continuing Objects
4. Philosophical Reflections on Sensory Experience
5. Ancient Philosophy: Substances and Souls
6. Modern Philosophy: Persons and Perceptions
7. True Scepticism
8. Second Thoughts


Seminar: Nick Nash, “Anthony Collins and David Hume on Miracles and the Grounds of the Christian Religion”

December 10, 2015
Modern Philosophy Seminar: Nick Nash (Western Ontario): “Anthony Collins and David Hume on Miracles and the Grounds of the Christian Religion”
University of Western Ontario, Stevenson Hall 1145
5:30-6:30 pm
London, Ontario
Contact: Corey Dyck.

Workshop: Hume and the Social

When: November 28, 2015

Where: Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

Further Info:

Invited speaker: Rico Vitz (Azusa): “Character, Culture, and the Limits of Humean Virtue”
Abstracts are invited on all aspects of Hume’s philosophy. The workshop will in particular aim to explore social epistemology, virtue theory and Hume’s approach to moral and political theory. Abstracts of up to 500 words should be submitted to Dan O’Brien by October 1st. Decisions will be made by October 8th. Presentations along with discussion will be limited to one hour.


New Book: “Hume: An Intellectual Biography”, James A. Harris

Coming out this September!

Available at Hume: an Intellectual Biography – Cambridge University Press

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive overview of the entire career of one of Britain’s greatest men of letters. It sets in biographical and historical context all of Hume’s works, from A Treatise of Human Nature to The History of England, bringing to light the major influences on the course of Hume’s intellectual development and paying careful attention to the differences between the wide variety of literary genres with which Hume experimented. The major events in Hume’s life are fully described, but the main focus is on Hume’s intentions as a philosophical analyst of human nature, politics, commerce, English history and religion. Careful attention is paid to Hume’s intellectual relations with his contemporaries. The goal is to reveal Hume as a man intensely concerned with the realization of an ideal of open-minded, objective, rigorous, dispassionate dialogue about all the principal questions faced by his age.

15 anos de Grupo Hume

O Grupo Hume convida a todas e todos para a comemoração de 15 anos de trabalhos!

As salas exatas serão confirmadas em breve nesse post. A Programação completa é a seguinte:

26/08 – Quarta

26/08 17:00 – Inscrições e Abertura Oficial

27/08 – Quinta
10:30 – Jacqueline Taylor (University of San Francisco)
12:30 – Almoço
14:30 – Hugo Cerqueira (UFMG| Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais)

28/08 – Sexta
10:30 – Jaimir Conte (UFSC| Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)
12:30 – Encerramento Oficial

29/08 – Sábado
10:00 – Café com filosofia

hume cartaz

CFP Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science

Deadlina: September 10th

When: November 6-7, 2015
Where: Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest & The Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Invited speakers:
Daniel Garber (Princeton University)
Paul Lodge (University of Oxford)
Arianna Borrelli (Technical University, Berlin)

We invite papers by established and young scholars (including doctoral students) on any aspects of early modern philosophy/early modern science. Abstracts no longer than 500 words, to be sent to Doina-Cristina Rusu ( ) by September 10. Authors will be notified by September 15.

Contacts: Dana Jalobeanu (dana.jalobeanu (at) and Doina-Cristina Rusu (dc.rusu(at) ).