David Hume on Reason as a Passion

8 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2015 Last revised: 4 May 2018

See all articles by Daniel B. Klein

Daniel B. Klein

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Erik Matson

New York University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 4, 2015

Abstract

This brief research memo collects quotations from David Hume’s works about reason as a passion — specifically, a calm passion. The collection shows that after A Treatise of Human Nature, which Hume disavowed, the dichotomy between reason and passion pretty much falls away, and, instead, reason is, in the main, presented to be a sort of passion. The collection shows that, in fact, even in the Treatise Hume gestured in that direction, though such gestures have been overshadowed by the passages that suggest a dichotomy between reason and passion. In this matter (and others), Hume’s disavowal of the Treatise should be minded and taken to heart. This note does not refer to any secondary literature on the matter.

Keywords: David Hume, reason, passion, calm passion

JEL Classification: A1, B1, B4

Suggested Citation

Klein, Daniel B. and Matson, Erik, David Hume on Reason as a Passion (March 4, 2015). GMU Working Paper in Economics No. 15-13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573995 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2573995

Daniel B. Klein (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Erik Matson

New York University - Department of Economics ( email )

Bobst Library, E-resource Acquisitions
20 Cooper Square 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10003-711
United States

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