from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
The Secret Life of Books: Series Two: The Faerie QueeneTuesday, 13th October 2015 20:30 - BBC FourDiscover the secret life of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene Read more: The Secret Life of Books: Series Two: The Faerie Queene
The Secret Life of Books: Series Two: The Faerie QueeneWednesday, 14th October 2015 02:30 - BBC Four
Countdown To Life: The Extraordinary Making Of You: The First 8 WeeksWednesday, 14th October 2015 02:45 - BBC Two
The Great British Year: SpringWednesday, 14th October 2015 23:00 - BBC Four
The Great British Year: SpringAvailable until Friday, 13th November 2015 23:00The white shades to green; the landscape awakens. Read more: The Great British Year: Spring
The Bottom Line: Autumn 2015: Crisis at VW: A Bottom Line SpecialAvailable for over a year
BBC Inside Science: Coral, LIGO and physicsAvailable for over a year
The Great British Year: WinterAvailable until Friday, 6th November 2015 22:00
Infographic: 12 things to know about Einstein's Theory of RelativityWhat you need to know about Einstein's theories of relativity and how they revolutionized how the... Read more: Infographic: 12 things to know about Einstein's Theory of Relativity
OpenLearn Live: 13th October 2015Sweden's first culture & democracy minister; and then more free learning through the day Read more: OpenLearn Live: 13th October 2015
Seeing institutions in different waysTo help you to understand the complexity of institutional development, this free course, Seeing... Try: Seeing institutions in different ways 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.