This is a study of the Scottish philosopher David Hume, which seeks to revise understanding of Hume's thought by investigating the distinction he made between "true" and "false" philosophy. The text traces this distinction through all Hume's writings, providing a systematic pathology of the corrupt philosophical consciousness in history, politics, philosophy and literature that characterized Hume's time. For Hume, false philosophy leads either to melancholy over the groundlessness of common opinion, or delirium over transcending it, while true philosophy leads to wisdom. By demonstrating how a philosophical method can be used to expose the political motivations behind intellectual positions, historical events and their subsequent interpretations, the author of this study seeks to revitalize Hume's thought and reveal its relevance for contemporary discussions of politics, nationalism and ideology.
Philosophical Melancholy and Delirium
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