Reading Hume's Dialogues

Reading Hume's Dialogues

A Veneration for True Religion
William Lad Sessions
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/13/2002
Format: Paperback 1 index
ISBN: 978-0-253-21534-5
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... establishes the literary and philosophical greatness of the Dialogues in ways that even its warmest admirers have been unable to do before."
—Terence Penelhum

In this lively reading of David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, William Lad Sessions reveals a complex internal hermeneutic that gives new form, structure, and meaning to the work. Linking situations, character, style, and action to the philosophical concepts presented, Sessions finds meaning contained in the work itself and calls attention to the internal connections between plot, character, rhetoric, and philosophy. The result avoids the main preoccupation of previous commentaries, namely, the attempt to establish which of the main characters speaks for Hume. Concentrating on previously unexplored questions of piety and theology, Sessions asks important questions in the philosophy of religion today—what is the nature of true religion, what is the relationship between theology and piety, and how should we actively engage with God?

Author Bio

William Lad Sessions is Ballengee 250th Anniversary Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Washington and Lee University. He is author of The Concept of Faith.


“Philosophers and students of philosophy alike will be glad to have this commentary at hand as they read or reread Hume's Dialogues. The list of sources will be a welcome guide to locating other voices in the conversation, many of them hidden away in philosophical journal”
 — Journal of Religion

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. Scene Setting
3. Pamphilus to Hermippus
4. Part 1
5. Part 2
6. Part 3
7. Part 4
8. Part 5
9. Part 6
10. Part 7
11. Part 8
12. Part 9
13. Part 10
14. Part 11
15. Part 12
16. Conclusion
List of Sources