Chapter

Immateriality, Immortality, and the Human Soul

Paul Russell

in The Riddle of Hume's Treatise

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195110333
Published online May 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780199872084 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195110333.003.0014
Immateriality, Immortality, and the Human Soul

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Even commentators who have explicitly argued that the Treatise has little to say on issues of religion generally accept that Hume's discussion of the immateriality of the soul contains an obvious irreligious message. This chapter's aim, therefore, is not to labor this point (i.e. that Hume's views about the soul, immaterial substance, and personal identity are of irreligious significance), but rather to indicate the specific way in which Hume's arguments on this subject are related to the main debate between theists and atheists during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. These observations show the way in which Hume's arguments on this subject are intimately connected with his wider irreligious aims and objectives throughout the Treatise.

Keywords: animals; Samuel Clarke; Anthony Collins; dualism; future state; Heaven and Hell; immortality; John Locke; personal identity; soul; thinking matter

Chapter.  9140 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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