Hume's Dissertation on the Passions.
Hume composed the "Dissertation" by selecting and rearranging passages from Book II of the "Treatise", but there is no consensus on what organizational principle or purpose guided Hume in developing the "Dissertation". This article argues that Hume's goals in the "Dissertation" become much clearer if we read the "Dissertation" in its original publication context, which was to have been in a volume with the "Natural History of Religion" and "Of Tragedy". Hume appears to have selected certain passages from "Treatise II" in order to highlight the relevance of his theory of the passions to religion and aesthetics. Specifically, the "Dissertation" provides an analysis of fear which is essential to the argument of the "Natural History" and the "Dissertation" also develops a theory of conflicting passions which supports the reasoning in "Of Tragedy."
|Main Author:||Immerwahr, John.|