Professor Joe Cruz sends this update on his Hume tutorial:

The Hume tutorial is underway and we are having a splendid time. The students who are keen to participate in Ephblog’s presentation of the tutorial have asked that I be the host of their work. Thus, I’ve mounted Laura Specker’s first paper and Noah Susskind’s first paper on my server space.

I have also asked Laura and Noah to say something brief about themselves. Laura has written, “Laura Specker is a sophomore philosophy major whose interests include cinema, existentialism, cognitive science, and journalism.” Noah writes, “Noah Susskind is a junior philosophy major with a concentration in legal studies. He is interested in writing, negotiation, and deliberative democracy.”

Let me say something about how I envision the tutorial assignments. Firstly, we are placing equal emphasis on the written work and on the oral presentation of ideas during the supervisions. It is my sense that oral presentation is a sorely undernourished skill at Williams, and I hope that the tutorial program can go some away toward remedying that. Secondly, the reading assignments of my syllabus sit somewhere between now-traditional Williams tutorials and tradition Oxbridge supervisions. That is, I do assign particular readings — the primary text — for each week, and I urge that students concentrate on these. I also make available a reading list from which I expect students to draw ideas and themes for discussion. The books on the reading list are on reserve in Sawyer (since we don’t wish them to be checked out for very long), but the journal articles must be tracked down by the participants in the tutorial. This, I hope, will give them a taste of doing archival research. In the best cases, students will then use the references in the books and journal articles to track down additional secondary literature. Indeed, this has already happened, as Noah showed up yesterday with a collection of papers , Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry, edited by Peter Millican (Oxford, 2002).

I will shortly send some material from the critical remarks made during each of our two meetings.

Incidentally, in a common error, you’ve listed the title of Hume’s book as A Treatise ON Human Nature rather than A Treatise OF Human Nature.

Thanks to Joe for the correction. Instead of participating in our discussions on Anthony Marx, motivated readers should check out these papers and provide some comments here.

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