David Hume in the 21st Century: Perpetuating the Enlightenment

June 13, 2020 - August 7, 2020
Philosophy, Portland State University

1825 SW Broadway
Portland 97201
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • College of William and Mary
  • Portland State University
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The Hume Society


Portland State University
College of William and Mary

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Hume's philosophical and historical thought is presented in a wide array of college and university courses, and his work has influenced metaphysics, epistemology, religion, morals, politics, economics, history, and the cognitive sciences. The Institute aims to cover many of these areas, as well as to focus on the relevance of Hume's thought to some contemporary interests: Non-Western philosophy, gender, race, the status of animals, and the environment.

Our goals are: (1) By examining a variety of Hume's contributions, we hope to give faculty and graduate student participants an expansive context and diverse resources to facilitate their own teaching and research projects on the Institute's themes. (2) By studying topics of both traditional and contemporary interest, we aim to offer participants a sample of the engagement of a classical Enlightenment theory with present issues.

The Institute is designed to include both formal sessions and informal interactions. We plan to meet on weekdays between July 13 and August 7, from 9 until noon, for presentations by guest faculty of the Institute followed by question-and-answer sessions. The readings include primary works with some secondary, contemporary essays or book excerpts on the topic for the day. In the afternoons, we will offer the opportunity for small interactive group sessions, so that participants with common interests can share ideas on pedagogy and research. 

College and university teachers, and advanced graduate students with an interest in Hume, are encouraged to apply.


  • Applications accepted beginning: January 1, 2020
  • Application deadline: March 1, 2020
  • Applicants notified: March 27, 2020
  • Applicants' acceptance deadline: April 3, 2020

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March 1, 2020, 11:00pm PST

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