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This free course, David Hume, 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, it examines 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.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- understand the debates in the late Enlightenment concerning suicide, immortality, the nature of evidence, the existence of God and related topics
- understand some characteristic shifts and continuities in the move from Enlightenment ideals towards Romantic ones
- feel confident that study can transform a centuries-old text into an enjoyable, informative, articulate and reasoned discussion of a familiar topic
- examine set readings and appreciate some of its 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
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
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This course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free History of Art courses or view the range of currently available OU History of Art courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 14th April 2016
Last updated on: Thursday, 14th April 2016
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