Becoming Civil: History and the Discipline of Institutions

Jeffrey A. Bell

in Deleuze's Hume

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748634392
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652464 | DOI:
Becoming Civil: History and the Discipline of Institutions

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This chapter describes the important role institutions play, for David Hume, in producing both a love for humanity and the belief that becoming cultured and polished will benefit humanity. For Hume, history involves a double movement that enables us to place ‘objects in their true point of view’. Inseparable from Hume's account of the rise of the arts and sciences is the notion that inductive generalizations can be applied to populations as a whole. Imitation and competition are the two further concepts that are central to Hume's account. The creativity of individuals is irreducible to a determinable set of social and cultural preconditions. In addition, Pierre Bourdieu and Fritz Ringer are discussed in order to elucidate the role of the multitude as a nondenumerable set.

Keywords: David Hume; Pierre Bourdieu; Fritz Ringer; institutions; humanity; history; arts; sciences

Chapter.  11856 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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