Hume the humane

Julian Baggini on Hume.

Hume was always suspicious of what he called ‘enthusiasts’ and it is perhaps telling that the meaning of this word now has an unambiguously positive meaning . . . To be an enthusiast in Hume’s sense is to forget one is human and act as though one were a god, sufficient in reason and knowledge to be entirely confident about what one believes . . . If ever there were a time in recent history to turn to Hume, now is surely it. The enthusiasts are on the rise, in the form of strongman political populists who assert the will of the people as though it were absolute and absolutely infallible.