Revealed Religion and the Politics of Humanity in Hume's Philosophy of Common Life

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Hume's philosophy of common life consists in two moments: philosophic agnosticism about deep irresolvable metaphysical issues and a willingness to assume the common sense of the matter so that philosophy can proceed. This method works so long as he maintains agnosticism in the metaphysical issues as he entertains the common sense assumptions. When Hume turns his attention to revealed religion, however, his common life philosophy breaks down as his anti-transcendent metaphysic contaminates his assumptions; his embrace of humanity as the chief virtue of the modern world illuminates this contamination, as does his suggestion that religious belief might be extinguished in the modern world.