All downhill since Hume

I was brought up to suppose that Western philosophy is just a series of footnotes to Plato — not that this led me to learn enough Greek to read him. But Hume had the taste to write in English; and everything I painfully learn nowadays seems to me a series of footnote to him, The most recent discovery was his “rules for conduct”: on the Internet:

bq. Among well-bred people, a mutual deference is affected; contempt of others disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained, without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority. These attentions and regards are immediately agreeable to others, abstracted from any consideration of utility or beneficial tendencies: they conciliate affection, promote esteem, and extremely enhance the merit of the person who regulates his behaviour by them.

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1 Response to All downhill since Hume

  1. That Plato riff is just the same old _begat_ shit all over again. I’d attempt a genealogy of ancestor-worship, except that (a) I can’t be arsed and (b) there’s a risk it might found an even more irritatingly smug meta-sect.

    Oh and this comments box is ridiculously super-wide in Firefox something (out of the box with Suse Linux 10.0). And never came back to sci.philosophy after the flaming he got from, panty-waisted cry-baby that he was. (And what _is_ a panty-waist, anyway?)

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