The Alliance Between Dema and Philo in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

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Stanley Tweyman

Abstract

David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is concerned with whether God’s
nature can be known by us. When the dialogue begins, two of the speakers, Demea, who
professes Mysticism, and Philo, a sceptical philosopher, maintain their agreement regarding the
unknowability of the divine nature. The third speaker, Cleanthes, an empiricist philosopher,
insists that, through the Argument from Design, we can establish that God possesses an
intelligence which resembles human intelligence. This paper focuses on whether Demea and
Philo maintain their alliance regarding the unknowability of God’s nature throughout the
discussion. This constitutes a departure from traditional scholarship on the Dialogues, as much
of the literature focuses on the views of Cleanthes and Philo, rather than on Demea and Philo.

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How to Cite
Tweyman, S. (2021). The Alliance Between Dema and Philo in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Humanities Bulletin, 4(1), 41–51. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/1977
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