June 24, 2013 at 9:38 pm #16783siabaaMember
I had two follow on questions that were not got to from the live Q&A.
The first is that David Livingston was mentioned in the Q&A. I had the opportunity to view the link you included in The Enlightenment, Part 1. Livingston mentions Hume’s treatment of Parties of Affection, Parties of Interest, and Parties of Metaphysical Principles. I was wondering if you had anything to say about the notion that the final Party of Metaphysical Principles are unnatural and dangerous. Agree, disagree, comments?
And secondly I was wondering if you could comment on the relationship between Rousseau and Hume.
Thanks!June 27, 2013 at 11:33 am #16784Jason JewellParticipant
Hume’s criticism of the “parties of principle” is very similar to Edmund Burke’s. In other words, these parties attempt to impose abstractions on society without regard to the actual lived experiences, traditions, culture, and beliefs of the people who make up that society. Such attempts are almost certainly bound to end badly.
In general, I agree with Hume, Burke, and Livingston. Abstract reason alone fails to take into account certain essential aspects of what it means to be a human being.
Perhaps unlike Livingston, I don’t think that this insight conflicts with libertarianism if libertarianism is correctly understood as being only a political theory and not a comprehensive social theory. As Gerard Casey says, libertarian thought doesn’t try to answer all the questions of life; it merely establishes minimal preconditions for justice as we try to sort out the answers.June 27, 2013 at 11:56 am #16785Jason JewellParticipant
Also on Hume and Rousseau, I don’t really know anything beyond what you’d find in the “Rousseau’s Dog” book. Given Rousseau’s hyper-egotism and sorry track record of managing friendships, I’m inclined to side with Hume in their dispute.July 1, 2013 at 2:20 am #16786siabaaMember
I was wrestling with Livingston’s assessment in the video about planting libertarianism in the metaphysical parties group. What you say about it makes sense as I can find agreement with an atheist for a long way in libertarianism. When we reach disagreement it is often after we have left the realm of politics, so it was difficult for me to see the ‘Midas Touch’ argument Livingston made applying.
I’ve returned the “Rousseau’s Dog” book to the library already. I did not find it too particularly helpful for the paper. The author appears to firmly be on Rousseau’s side so it was a bit like listening to one long rant from someone I disagree with. Again your “How to Read a Book” recommendation has saved me time, effort, and discomfort. A quick inspectional reading yielded an awareness of his argument and quotes for my paper.
I’m very sympathetic to Hume and find myself giving him the benefit of the doubt quite often.
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