Sunday, 20 February 2011

David Hume: On Suicide

"David Hume strove to create a total naturalistic "science of man" that examined the psychological basis of human nature. In stark opposition to the rationalists who preceded him, most notably Descartes, he concluded that desire rather than reason governed human behavior, saying famously: "Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions." (wiki)

At times, this book offers up paragraphs of glass, some that simply confuse and at times seem hard to penetrate, and some that at times, appear so clear and inspiring that they seem to reflect your own thoughts, in a way in which you'd find hard to articulate in any other way.

Hume's views of Tragedy and of the arts resonate with my feelings of the disparate nature of objects, and their relations with each other, especially within collage.

"Had you any intention to move a person...the best method of increasing it's effect would be artfully to delay informing him of it, at first to excite his curiosity and impatience, before you let him into the secret... difficulties increase passions of every kind." (p26)

"One of the most important thinkers ever to write in English, the Empiricist David Hume liberated philosophy from the superstitious constraints of religion; here, he argues that all are free to choose between life and death, considers the nature of personal taste and succinctly criticises common philosophies of the time."

(Penguin Great Ideas series)

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