Thursday, March 12, 2009

The proper skeptic

Hume's scepticism, though "mitigated" is very real. Hume is often held up as a hero of the enlightenment, and so he should be. But he had just about as pessimistic a view about the power of reason it is possible to have without abandoning it as altogether useless. In contrast, some self-proclaimed modern heirs of the enlightenment talk as though science and reason were two invincible superheroes, capable of leading us to certain truth. Hume is a challenge to this complacency, as well as to the beliefs of many religious believers.
 -- Julian Baggini concludes a concise series on Hume and faith with lines that make the great Scottish philospher sound like a wiser version of John N. Gray

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