Sunday, June 22, 2014

Quotations about Hume by 2 economists, an epidemiologist, Borges & Hamann

Amartya Sen:
Hume's influence on the nature and reach of modern thinking has been monumental. From epistemology to practical reason, from aesthetics to religion, from political economy to philosophy, from social and cultural studies to history and historiography, the intellectual world was transformed by the enlightening power of his mind. ('The Boundaries of Justice' New Republic [December 14, 2011])
Mervyn Susser:
Like Plato and George Berkeley who epitomize idealist philosophy, Hume constructed a view of the world that gives primacy to the sentience and thought of the individual: truth can be said to exist only in the subjective perceptions of an observer. For Hume, the apparent sequence of events in the external world is in fact the sequence of perceptions in the mind. ('Rational Science Versus a System of Logic' in Causal Inference, ed. K. J. Rothman [Epidemiology Resources, 1988], p. 190)
Jorge Luis Borges:
It is a bit like what Hume says of Berkeley: “His arguments admit of no refutation and produce no conviction.” Solipsism admits of no refutation and produces no conviction. (“Merely a Man of Letters” Jorge Luis Borges: an interview, Philosophy and Literature 1 (1977): 337-41)
Robert E. Lucas, Jr.:
From the beginnings of modern monetary theory, in David Hume’s marvelous essays of 1752, Of Money and Of Interest, conclusions about the effect of changes in money have seemed to depend critically on the way in which the change is effected. [p. 246] .... The passages on dynamics that I cited from Hume in Section 1 could be slipped into Keynes’s Treatise on Money (1930) or Hayek’s Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle (1933 ) without inducing any sense of anachronism. [p. 253] (Lucas' Nobel Prize Lecture, 'Monetary Neutrality', Dec. 7, 1995)
Johann Georg Hamann:
This much is certain that without Berkeley there would have been no Hume, just as without Hume no Kant. Yet finally everything comes down to tradition just as all abstraction comes down to sensuous impressions. (from a letter to Herder, 1782)

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