Spectres of False Divinity: Humes Moral Atheism

Paperback | April 29, 2012

byThomas Holden

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Spectres of False Divinity presents a historical and critical interpretation of Hume's rejection of the existence of a deity with moral attributes. In Hume's view, no first cause or designer responsible for the ordered universe could possibly have moral attributes; nor could the existence (ornon-existence) of such a being have any real implications for human practice or conduct. Hume's case for this 'moral atheism' is a central plank of both his naturalistic agenda in metaphysics and his secularizing program in moral theory. It complements his wider critique of traditional theism, andthreatens to rule out any religion that would make claims on moral practice. Thomas Holden situates Hume's commitment to moral atheism in its historical and philosophical context, offers a systematic interpretation of his case for divine amorality, and shows how Hume can endorse moral atheism while maintaining his skeptical attitude toward traditional forms of cosmologicaland theological speculation.

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Spectres of False Divinity presents a historical and critical interpretation of Hume's rejection of the existence of a deity with moral attributes. In Hume's view, no first cause or designer responsible for the ordered universe could possibly have moral attributes; nor could the existence (ornon-existence) of such a being have any real...

Thomas Holden is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Architecture of Matter: Galileo to Kant (OUP, 2004).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pagesPublished:April 29, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645949

ISBN - 13:9780199645947

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAbbreviations1. Hume's Moral Atheism2. Mitigated Skepticism and Hume's Liminal Natural Theology3. The Argument from Sentimentalism 1: Hume's Critique of Religious Passions4. The Argument from Sentimentalism 2: Religious Passions and the Deity's Moral Status5. The Argument from Motivation6. The Arguments from Evil7. The Arguments from DeterminismConclusionBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

IReview from previous edition: "an interesting and very worthwhile read." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews