Chapter 15. "Critique of the Design Argument" by David Hume

Table of Contents
Ideas of Interest from Natural Religion
The Reading Selection from Natural Religion
Related Ideas
Topics Worth Investigating

David Hume, Thoemmes

About the author…

Often considered a skeptic, David Hume (1711-1776) is perhaps the most influential philosopher to write in English. Although he sought acclaim as a historian, his empirical thought places "Logic, Morals, Criticism, and Politics" as a "science of man." As part of his radical empiricism, Hume rejected the existence of causation, scientific law, material substance, spiritual substance, and the individual self. For him, only relationships among ideas can be known.

Ideas of Interest from Natural Religion

  1. Explain the meaning of the phrase, "as the cause ought only be proportioned to the effect…" Aren't the effects of causes often surprising? How do you think the notion of cause is related to scientific law?

  2. List the analogical respects, pointed out by Philo, between the characteristics of the world and the inferred characteristics of the Deity.



David Hume. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. 1779.