Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blackburn on Hume

Simon Blackburn neatly summarizes the rootedness of American philosophy in David Hume's humane empiricism, in this interview:
There’s a suggestion that reason is always the slave of the passions? Yes, that’s the famous provocative remark, “and has no other office but to serve and obey them.” There’s an insight there which is picked up in much modern philosophy, and it is of course the insight of pragmatism, that success in action is, in some sense, the mother of thought. It’s because we need our actions in the world to serve our needs and to generate success, that we have the intelligences we do. That’s the nutshell idea of modern American pragmatism, and the pragmatist tradition. 
And besides, "he lived an admirable life and a warm, generous spirit breathes through all his writings." Must walk his walk too.

Simon Blackburn on David Hume | Five Books | Five Books

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