The testimony of sense : empiricism and the essay from Hume to Hazlitt /
The Testimony of Sense attempts to answer a neglected but important question. What became of epistemology in the late eighteenth century, in the period between Hume's scepticism and Romantic idealism? It finds that two factors in particular reshaped the nature of 'empiricism,' the soc...
Oxford ; New York :
Oxford University Press,
|Summary:||The Testimony of Sense attempts to answer a neglected but important question. What became of epistemology in the late eighteenth century, in the period between Hume's scepticism and Romantic idealism? It finds that two factors in particular reshaped the nature of 'empiricism,' the socialization of experience by Scottish enlightenment thinkers and the impact upon philosophical discourse of the belletrism of periodical culture. The book aims to correct the still widely-held assumption that Hume effectively silenced epistemological inquiry in Britain for over half a century. Instead, it argues that Hume encouraged the abandonment of subject-centered reason in favor of models of rationality based upon the performance of trusting actions within society. Of particular interest here is the way in which, after Hume, fundamental ideas like the self, truth and meaning are conceived less in terms of introspection, correspondence and reference, and more in terms of community, coherence and communication. By tracing the idea of intersubjectivity through the issues of trust, testimony, virtue and language, the study offers new perspectives on the relationships between philosophy and literature, empiricism and transcendentalism and Enlightenment and Romanticism. As philosophy grew more conversational, the familiar essay became a powerful metaphor for new forms of communication. The book explores what is epistemologically at stake in the familiar essay genre as it develops through the writings of Joseph Addison, David Hume, Samuel Johnson, Charles Lamb, and William Hazlitt. It also offers readings of philosophical texts, such as Hume's Treatise, Thomas Reid's Inquiry and Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments, as literary performances.|
|Physical Description:||viii, 278 pages ; 24 cm.|
|Bibliography:||Includes bibliographical references (pages -272) and index.|