David Hume and the Culture of Scottish Newtonianism
David Hume has a canonical place in the context of moral philosophy, but his insights are less frequently discussed in relation to natural philosophy. David Hume and the Culture of Scottish Newtonianism offers a discussion of Hume’s methodological and ideological commitments in matters of knowledge as reflected in his language and outlook. Tamás Demeter argues that several aspects of Hume’s moral philosophy reflect post-Newtonian tendencies in the aftermath of the Opticks, and show affinities with Newton-inspired Scottish physiology and chemistry. Consequently, when Hume describes his project as an 'anatomy of the mind' he uses a metaphor that expresses his commitment to study human cognitive and affective functioning on analogy with active and organic nature, and not with the Principia’s world of inert matter.