In an essay, “Of Tragedy,” Hume tried to solve the problem of why disagreeable passions caused by tragedy should eventually be converted to pleasure. Some scholars interpret that Hume explained this away by the theory of the conversion of passions, instead of the theory of sympathy. This paper argues that Hume applied his principal doctrine of psychological association and his theory of sympathy in its explanation. He also paid attention to the artistry of drama itself, especially the rhetorical skills and its subject matter, which are important to get the spectators' sympathy in the first place.
Some scholars believe that Hume used the “anatomist” method in the Treatise, and the “painter” method in the Essays. But the “painter” method in the Essays can be further separated into two methods, “allegory” and “history”. Hume regarded the historical method as a more effective way to appeal to his readers' mind than the allegoric method because the former proved to be useful for refinement of passions. Hume demonstrated this in “Of the rise and progress of the arts and sciences” by arguing that arts and sciences, especially the modern gallantry, had grown historically from such particular passions as curiosity and generosity under different circumstances generated by republics and civilized monarchies.
Our faculties to believe are trustworthy. Thomas Reid's epistemology regards this self-confidence in the belief-faculties as metaprinciple of all the “first principles of contingent truths” (Intellectual Powers, VI. 5.) In this paper I clarify the systematic meaning of trust epistemology by reconsidering Hume's “total scepticism” (Treatise, I, IV, 1). Hume misunderstood his argument. Fallibility of our reasoning faculty does not lead to “total extinction” of our beliefs, but means at most negative “presumption” (Reid) in evaluating our beliefs. Epistemological naturalism (H. O. Mounce) attaches importance to the natural authority of reason, which Hume disregarded. Reid's trust epistemology embodies the consistent version of epistemological naturalism.
This paper aims to articulate Edmund Burke's concept of constitution. To articulate it, I suppose that it is necessary to compare it to the concept of constitution in the thought of modern law school. Then, we understand that Edmund Burke's concept of constitution should be recognised in the context of the common law tradition. And it is important to recognise the role of Revolution of 1688. At the same time, I maintain that Edmund Burke grounds the British constitution on the classical natural law.