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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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The Opposition Gathers

The Opposition Gathers

Chapter:
(p.286) Chapter 22 The Opposition Gathers
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0022

Refutations of David Hume's publications began to pile up during the 1750s, which he remarked in My Own Life. The remark is well within the bounds of truth since answers to the two Enquiries, including ‘Of Miracles’, alone totalled two in 1751; four in 1752; five in 1753; three in 1754; and two in 1755. ‘Of Miracles’, perhaps naturally enough considering the temper of the age, was chiefly responsible for the sudden interest taken in Hume. The purpose of ‘Of Miracles’ was to determine, not the philosophical issue of the possibility of miracles, but the evidential issue ‘that no human testimony can have such a force as to prove a miracle, and make it a just foundation for any…system of religion’. In so delimiting the issue to history and to religion, Hume was following in a well-established pattern.

Keywords:   refutations, David Hume, publications, My Own Life, Enquiries, Of Miracles, miracles, religion, history

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