from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life In Cold Blood: The Cold-Blooded TruthMonday, 3rd August 2015 09:00 - EdenTake a closer look at these fascinating creatures - and watch some extraordinary clips. Read more: Life In Cold Blood: The Cold-Blooded Truth
A History of Ideas: How can I know anything at all?Monday, 3rd August 2015 12:04 - BBC Radio 4
Life In Cold Blood: The Cold-Blooded TruthMonday, 3rd August 2015 15:00 - Eden
Life In Cold Blood: The Cold-Blooded TruthMonday, 3rd August 2015 20:00 - Eden
OU on the BBC- Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant: Episode TwoAvailable until Thursday, 3rd September 2015 02:55Pushed further out of their comfort zones, how will our new carers cope? Read more: OU on the BBC- Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant: Episode Two
A History of Ideas: Writer Lisa Appignanesi on the Love of ChildrenAvailable for over a year
The Met: Policing London: Episode FiveAvailable until Friday, 7th August 2015 01:50
A History of Ideas: Psychotherapist Mark Vernon on FreudAvailable for over a year
OpenLearn Live: 3rd August 2015Bringing you the best of free learning, research and analysis from across OpenLearn and around... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 3rd August 2015
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Beginners’ Italian: food and drinkThis free course, Beginners’ Italian: food and drink, focuses on buying drinks and snacks in an... Try: Beginners’ Italian: food and drink now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
This unit examines Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these...
This unit examines Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief that were taking place in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, through examination of this and other short essays.
Having studied this unit, you should gain:
- familiarity with debates in the late Enlightenment concerning suicide, immortality, the nature of evidence, the existence of God and related topics, plus some experience of participating in these debates;
- acquaintance with some characteristic shifts and continuities in the move from Enlightenment ideals towards Romantic ones, including the new respect for sentiment; the increased emphasis on individualism, privacy and personal response; new conceptions of nature, including human nature; the continuing fascination with non- European cultures;
- confidence that study can transform a centuries-old text into an enjoyable, informative, articulate and reasoned discussion of a familiar topic, even if at first that text seems obscure or arcane;
- direct experience of this transformative process, through careful examination of the set readings and appreciation of some necessary background information.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Prelude: Hume's death
- 2 From enlightenment to romanticism
- 3 The intellectual background
- 4 Hume on life after death
- 5 Hume on suicide
- Next steps
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
This unit examines David Hume's reasons for being complacent in the face of death, as these are laid out in his suppressed essay of 1755, ‘Of the immortality of the soul’. More generally, they examine some of the shifts in attitude concerning death and religious belief that were taking place in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century, through examination of this and other short essays.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 17th October 2013
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.