4.3 Physical grounds for thinking we are immortal

In section III Hume discusses what he calls physical reasons for thinking there is an afterlife. A sensible guess as to what he means by a physical reason is that it is one based on observation and experience of the physical world. He begins by asserting that physical reasons are the ones he has most respect for. (This assertion is unsurprising: his objections to moral reasons, and the metaphysical reasons we skipped, turn on the allegation that they depend on claims that go beyond wha
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4.2 Moral grounds for thinking we are immortal

The moral reason (as Hume calls it) for thinking that there is an afterlife has already been touched on. God, being just, would surely see to it that we are punished or rewarded for our aberrant or commendable actions; this punishment or reward doesn't take place in this life, so it must take place after our body's demise. Here is a simple statement of the reasoning:

The moral argument for supposing there is an
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1 Prelude: Hume's death

In mid-August 1776 crowds formed outside the family home of David Hume. Hume was a pivotal figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, and his imminent death was widely anticipated. The crowds were anxious to know how he was facing up to his coming demise.

Hume is best known today as a historian (through his History of England of 1754–62) and a philosopher. His Treatise of Human Nature is regarded by many as one of the most significant philosophical works to have been written
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7.3 The Great Nation

The expanded France, which styled itself the Great Nation, provoked a second European coalition against it, but by 1799 it had established itself as a force to be reckoned with: a military force in the first instance but also and not least a potent ideological force. Its influence and attraction spread far beyond its frontiers to other peoples under foreign rule, to Poland under the dominion of Prussia, Russia and Austria, to Greece under the Turks, and to Ireland under the British. A Dublin
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7.1 The Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Britain and Europe

Je suis tombé par terre,

C'est la faute à Voltaire;

Le nez dans le ruisseau,

C'est la faute à Rousseau

[I've tumbled to the ground

thanks to Voltaire;

With my nose in the brook,

thanks to Rousseau]

(Quoted in Hugo, n.d., pp.204–5; trans. Lentin)

So ran a ditty popular after the Revolution, which blamed it on Voltaire and Rousseau.
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3.1 Three interpretative methods

If the work of art has an existence beyond that of its maker, what are the limits of interpretation? This is a huge question, and possible limits and methods of interpretation are continually being propounded within the discipline. Helen Langdon chose to set Caravaggio's art within his life, with all the associations connected to the artist's biography. This unit will look at ways in which the work of art can be interpreted within and outwith references to the artist who created that work.
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2.5 Is the author dead?

When Roland Barthes (1915–80) wrote ‘The Death of the Author’ (first published 1968, reprinted in Barthes 1977), he did not mean that, like Wimsatt and Beardsley, the author had been, or should always have been, absent in the interpretation of art works. Instead his position is a historicised one: while once it might have been acceptable to refer to the author in the interpretation of an art work, now, in a post-modern world, it is not. Michel Foucault (1926–84) responded to Barthes (
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Introduction

This unit will concentrate on one of the most common forms of art history writing – a biographical monograph about a single artist's life and work. You will be focusing on the way that one author, Helen Langdon, has used biography in her book about one artist, Caravaggio. In order to get the most out of studying this unit you will need access to a copy of this book (ISBN 071266582x)

You will look in detail at the methods she has used to approach her subject and the different kinds of
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3.1 Imagination and imagery

From the very origins of concern with the imagination in the work of the ancient Greeks, the imagination has been associated with imagery. But what is the relationship between imagination and imagery? In chapter 12 of his book, The Language of Imagination (1990), Alan White addresses this question and argues that imagination neither implies nor is implied by imagery.


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2.4 Gaut's analysis of imagination

Berys Gaut's main concern in his paper is to provide an account of the relationship between imagination and creativity. But in section 2 of his paper he offers an analysis of the notion of imagination, which we will look at here.

Activity 5

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2.2 Schubert and Johann Michael Vogl

By 1825 Schubert's painter friend Moritz von Schwind was reporting, ‘There is a Schubertiad at Enderes's each week – that is to say, Vogl sings’ (quoted in Deutsch, 1946, p. 401). Schwind names seven regular male members of the group, so even allowing for wives and other unnamed friends it was quite a small gathering. Another report of a Schubertiad at Enderes's the following year mentions that ‘more than 20 people have been asked’ (quoted in Deutsch, 1946, p. 531), and several othe
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should have:

  • an awareness of the links between English and Latin;

  • an understanding of basic English grammar in order to recognise and describe the way languages work;

  • an awareness of the fundamentals of pronunciation in Latin.


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2.3.5 History

The census of 1911, the year of MacLean's birth, recorded 200,000 speakers of Scottish Gaelic. Fifty years later, the number had dropped to 81,000. If MacLean's vision is frequently pessimistic, this must surely derive at least in part from the dwindling of the culture and language to which he had committed himself as poet.

Please now read ‘A Highland Woman’.

Click to view the poem ‘Highland Woman’

2.1.2 The poems

Your reading in this unit has already prepared you to some extent, but please read the following poems (both the English and Gaelic versions are given) which are discussed in the recordings, and then listen to the recordings.

 

Kinloch Ainort

A company of mountains, an upthrust of mountains

a great garth of growing mountains

a concourse of summits, of knolls, of hills


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1.2 Grasping Gaelic

Activity 1

Please read the following poems by Sorley MacLean (linked below): ‘The Turmoil’, ‘Kinloch Ainort’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Death Valley’, ‘A Spring’, and ‘She to Whom I Gave…’. Some of the poems have both Gaelic
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  • understand the power of Maclean's poetry in its original Gaelic;

  • give examples of how such poetry engages with historical and cultural change.


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References

Anderson, M.S. (1987) Europe in the Eighteenth Century 1713–1783, 3rd edn, Harlow, Longman.
Aston, N. (1990) Religion and Revolution in France 1780–1804, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
Barzun, J. (2000) From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, New York, Harper Collins.
Benham, W. (1902) The Po
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9.2 Cultural shifts: from Enlightenment to Romanticism, c.1780–1830

  1. A growing impulse towards revolution, rupture, transformation and radicalism.

  2. A growing scepticism about the potential to identify objective, empirically validated and universally valid truths, and an increased emphasis on subjectivity.

  3. An increasing emphasis on the self, introspection, identity and individualism.

  4. A growing exploitation and intensification of an aesthetic of the sublime.

  5. A
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8.3.2 Revolution

It cannot be emphasised enough that neither Voltaire nor Rousseau nor anyone before 1789 anticipated the revolution that actually took place in France or the violent and bloody course that it took. What Voltaire looked forward to was an enlightened, humane and orderly society of moderate property owners, a society whose members were guaranteed freedom to worship (or not to worship), to read, publish and discuss whatever they wished, a humane penal system, the rule of law, freedom from arbitra
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8.1 The forces of change: towards Romanticism

The relationship between the Enlightenment and the movement known as Romanticism, which dominated early nineteenth-century culture, is the subject of intense debate among scholars. There is no single correct way of defining this relationship, and one of the main challenges you will face in this course is in forming your own conclusions on the subject. It is possible, for example, to see the French Revolution as a cataclysmic event that tumbled the old order and ruptured faith in the Enlighten
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