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Download e-book for iPad: David Hume: Prophet of the Counter-Revolution by Laurence L. Bongie

By Laurence L. Bongie

ISBN-10: 0865972087

ISBN-13: 9780865972087

Even though Edmund Burke is mostly pointed out because the first to articulate the foundations of a latest conservative political culture, he used to be really preceded by means of a Scotsman who's larger identified for espousing a super inspiration of scepticism. David Hume used to be surely the eighteenth-century British author whose works have been most generally recognized and acclaimed at the Continent through the later Enlightenment interval. Hume's impression [in France] used to be of indisputable significance, larger even for a time than the comparable impact of Burke, even though it represents a contribution to French counter-revolutionary idea which, in contrast to that of Burke, has been virtually absolutely overlooked by way of historians to today.

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84 What the philosophes wanted from an ecclesiastical history is not a matter of doubt. D’Alembert himself had given only a year before an example of the best clichés of the genre in his anonymously published work, Sur la destruction des Jésuites en France (1765). Ecclesiastical history would show all manner of usurpation of the spiritual powers over the temporal, the hideous crimes and bloody wars caused by religious fanaticism, the persecutions and murders committed in the name of Christ—such were the gifts of Christianity to mankind that would be recorded in a good “philosophically” inspired ecclesiastical history.

37 Voltaire, the most important historian of the day, praised Hume on much the same grounds in a long review published in 1764: One can add nothing to the fame of this History, perhaps the best ever written in any language. . Never has the public so clearly sensed that only philosophers should write history. . The philosopher belongs to no country, to no faction. One would like to see the history of the wars between Rome and Carthage written by a man who was neither a Roman nor a Carthaginian.

L’Aigle et le Hibou,” in Oeuvres diverses de M. Cerutti ou recueil de pièces composées avant et depuis la Révolution, Paris, 1792, II. 47. Hume in fact shed few tears for Mary Stuart: see my article “The Eighteenth-Century Marian Controversy and an Unpublished Letter by David Hume,” Studies in Scottish Literature, April 1964, pp. 236–52. 17 Before 1789 More angry still was the response of one of Hume’s French anthologists, Damiens de Gomicourt, who pointed out that the ungrateful English seemed to make more fuss over their racehorses than they did over a Hume.

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David Hume: Prophet of the Counter-Revolution by Laurence L. Bongie


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