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305 HUME, HENRY MORE AND THE DESIGN ARGUMENT This paper is a contribution to research on the sources of Hume's statement of the design argument, whose analysis is the great subject of Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. My surmise is that Hume's statement is probably his own. It is not a direct quotation from any source, but more 2 likely a fabrication drawn from several sources which presents the strongest statement Hume could devise. My aim here is to demonstrate that one of Hume's sources is the works of Henry More (16141687 ). By a comparison of their language I mean to show the extent to which Hume drew on More for his formulation of the design argument. One of More's works, Divine Dialogues (1688), could have been Hume's modern example for treating the design 4 argument in a dialogue. It could have given Hume pointers for the organization, tone and characters of his own Dialogues. On a large view, the whole of Pialogues Concerning Natural Religion, with their artful match of position and counter-position, can be seen as a statement of the design argument. But on a close view, we can distinguish specific elements in Hume's statement; and for three of these elements we can show a close parallelism between Hume and More. The elements in Hume's statement to be considered here are.· (1)Cleanthes' introduction of the design argument in Part II, paragraph 5; (P 143) (2)"instances of design" offered by Cleanthes; (D 154, 185) and 306 (3) completing Hume's exposition of the design argument, Parts X and XI of the Dialogues, with their questions about the implications of human misery and the ill-workings of the world for the wisdom and benevolence of the universe maker (D 193-213). In addition to parallelisms between Hume and More at these points, there are a few straws in the wind that are worthy of mention. To pave the way for these comparisons, let me set out More's statements of the design argument. There are three of them. (1) More's first statement of the design argument occurs in An Antidote against Athéisme, (1652). The second of this work's three books is devoted to the design argument. Here is one of the earliest statements of the design argument in English; and it may be its first statement in an English work that is philosophical, rather than devotional or theological, and intended to convince solely on the basis of reasonable arguments. More sets out of the argument in three parts. First, there is the introductory remark: "...I would have my atheist walk with me awhile in the wide theater of this outward world, and diligently to attend to those many and most manifest marks and signs that I shall point to in this outward frame of things, that naturally signify unto us that there is a God" (AA 37-38). The 'walk' covers the next sixty pages, wherein More lists feature after feature of the world that he finds to instance divine design. At the end of this extensive catalogue, More then draws his conclusion: Wherefore the whole creation in general and every part thereof being so ordered as if the most exquisite reason and knowledge had contrived 307 them, it is natural to conclude that all this is the work of a wise God, as at first sight to acknowledge that those inscribed urns and coins digged out of the earth were not the products of unknowing nature, but the artifice of man (AA 97). (2)More's second statement of the design 7 argument is in The Immortality of the Soul (1659). More establishes to his satisfaction that matter is in motion, because "...when God created it, he D superadded an impress of Motion upon it...." That conclusion paves the way for the following paragraph: We have discovered out of the simple phenomenon of motion, the necessity of the existence of some incorporeal essence distinct from matter: but there is a further assurance of this truth, from the consideration of the order and admirable effect of this motion in the world. Suppose matter could move itself, would mere...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-9921
Print ISSN
0319-7336
Pages
pp. 305-327
Launched on MUSE
2011-01-26
Open Access
No
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