This section of the website is currently under development. When completed, it will make available materials that have been prepared over the years by Peter Millican for teaching Hume at the University of Oxford, especially within the upper-year course on Early Modern Philosophy, but also within the postgraduate BPhil. Most of these materials concern the topics covered in Book 1 of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature and his Enquiry concerning Human Understanding.
Oxford Lectures on Hume
The following link gives access to three sets of recorded lectures (with 8 hour-long lectures in each set), given in 2010, 2011 and 2018, together with complete handouts of all three (and of a fourth set given in 2021).
Outline of Humean Texts
The following documents are annotated summaries of some of the most important sections of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, provided to aid comprehension while reading his texts. They are intended to be relatively uncontroversial and interpretatively neutral, tied very closely to Hume’s own words (though of course that does not mean readers should uncritically accept the readings offered). For Hume’s texts themselves, go to the “Texts” area of this website, which includes all of Hume’s published philosophical works, in reliable and searchable editions.
- Overview of Treatise Book 1 Part 1
- Overview of Treatise Book 1 Part 3 Sections 1-8
- Hume’s Argument concerning Induction in Treatise 1.3.6
Analysis of Hume’s “Sceptical Texts”
The following documents focus on sections of the Treatise which are - or have been alleged to be - sceptical in intent, attempting to clarify the extent of their scepticism. Though less deliberately neutral than the outlines above, they again aim to stay very close to the texts and to the scholarly consensus.
- Hume’s Sceptical Texts 1: Induction
- Hume’s Sceptical Texts 2: Scepticism with Regard to Reason
- Hume’s Sceptical Texts 3: Scepticism with Regard to the Senses
- Hume’s Sceptical Texts 4: Of the Modern Philosophy
- Hume’s Sceptical Texts 5: Conclusion of Treatise Book 1
Notes on Particular Topics
The following teaching notes discuss complex topics where interpretative neutrality becomes impossible, because achieving a coherent view requires taking positions and drawing connections between texts and topics. The notes attempt to display balance, but interpretative biases are inevitable!
- Notes on Hume on Ideas and Impressions
- Notes on Hume’s Copy Principle
- Notes on Hume’s Argument(s) concerning Induction
- Notes on Hume on Causation (from Cambridge talk)
- Notes on Hume’s View of the External World
Where references are made to my own papers on Hume, these can be found within the “Scholarship” area of this website, in the page on Peter Millican’s Papers and Talks on Hume and Early Modern Philosophy.