Fall 1999, Vol. XXVIII, No. 2

Bulletin of the


Department of Philosophy - University of Iceland, IS-101 Reykjavík, Iceland

Bulletin Now in Electronic Form

From 30 November 1999, the Bulletin of the Hume Society will be available in an electronic version on the Society's web site <http://www.hi.is/~mike/hume.html> and will be called the ELECTRONIC Bulletin of the Hume Society. This is intended to serve as the Society's principal news vehicle. The ELECTRONIC Bulletin will be up-dated on a running basis and members will be encouraged to access it regularly. Up-dates will be announced over the internet post list "hume-mem". Material excerpted from the ELECTRONIC Bulletin will be sent in printed form, twice yearly, to those members who have indicated that they wish to continue receiving the printed Bulletin Items retired from the ELECTRONIC Bulletin will be archived and will be accessible through the web site.


Call for Nominations to the Executive Committee

The Hume Society now invites nominations to the Executive Committee. Only members of the Society are eligible for nomination; they must be proposed by at least two other members and must agree to serve if elected in order to be officially nominated. Proposals should be sent to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Hume Society by 30 November 1999 for the elections to be held by mail ballot in December. Please note that according to our constitution, "A member of the Hume Society shall be a person who has paid dues for the current year." Nominations may be sent by post or e-mail.

The Executive Committee should consist of ten members, nine of whom, including the President of the Society, are elected by the membership (in groups of three) to staggered three-year terms. The Secretary-Treasurer (elected by the Executive Committee to a five-year term) serves ex officio as the tenth member of the Executive Committee.

Three persons must now be elected to three-year terms which will run through the end of 2002.

Those whose terms expire at the end of 1999 are Stephen Darwall, Simon Blackburn and Daniel Flage. Steve will be completing his second consecutive 3-year term on the EC and is therefore not eligible for re-election. Simon has served one 3-year term and is eligible for re-election. Daniel Flage, who received a very considerable number of votes in last year's EC election, was appointed by the EC for 1999 when Elizabeth Radcliffe and Kenneth Winkler left the committee to take on the editorship of Hume Studies; Dan is now eligible for election to a regular term.

Other members of the Executive Committee are currently: John Biro (President), Jane McIntyre* and Jaqueline Taylor (terms running to the end of 2000); Tito Magri, A.E. Pitson and John Wright* (terms running to the end of 2001); and Mikael M. Karlsson (Secretary-Treasurer, appointed through the end of 2002).

*Will not be eligible for re-election when current term expires.


Cork: A Grand Conference!

Faith and begorra. The Twenty-Sixth Hume Society Conference on "Society and Mind", held in Cork, Ireland at University College Cork 19th - 23rd July 1999 will be remembered as a very well-organized and extremely congenial event. The Cork Conference was co-directed by Steven Darwall, Desmond Clarke and Garrett Barden. The Society is extremely grateful to the conference directors and to the many other people who helped to make this a successful Hume Conference, and formal thanks were expressed at the business meeting (see below) in Cork. The organization of a Hume Conference is a hugely demanding, time-consuming job; but it should never be a thankless one. Following tradition, the co-directors were presented with gifts at the conference banquet by the Society’s President, John Biro: Steve Darwall received a bottle of Scottish single malt, while Des Clarke and Garrett Barden received bottles of fine wine.

Business Meeting. The Society’s annual business meeting was convened on July 22, 1999 at 13:30 and chaired by Hume Society President John Biro. The agenda was announced in five parts: (1) Approval of the 1998 minutes, (2) Report of the President, (3) Report of the Secretary-Treasurer, (4) Hume Studies, (5) Other business.

(1) The 1998 minutes, as previously published, were unanimously approved.

(2) John Biro’s report included four items:

(i) First, John reiterated the Society's gratification for the fine job done by the organizers of the 1998 Stirling Conference.

(ii) Second, he reported that Hume Studies is being prepared for (limited) on-line access through the Poeisis project of the Philosophy Documentation Center.

(iii) Third, he announced the new editors for Hume Studies. Elizabeth Radcliffe and Kenneth Winkler will assume the editorship of the journal, beginning with the second issue for 1999.

(iv) Concerning future meetings, John reminded the membership that the Twenty-seventh Annual Hume Conference will be held in Willimasburg, Virginia on 24-29 July 2000 and he announced a change of venue for the 2001 Conference: Originally planned for Las Vegas, this conference will now be hosted by the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia and the Las Vegas conference postponed until 2003. David Norton and Paul Wood will be the organizers for the conference in Victoria. They have selected a local conference venue and have secured institutional support.

Formal approval was asked for the change of venue for the 2001 Conference. The question was moved, seconded and unanimously approved.

(3) Mikael M. Karlsson submitted an annual financial report for 1998, reporting that the assets of the Hume Society, expressed in US$ amounted to $268,531.81 as of 31 December 1998. He also submitted an interim report, covering the period 1 January-30 June 1999, reporting that the assets of the Hume Society, expressed in US$, stood at $36,800.71, and that the Society's membership had risen to 550 at the close of that period. Mike also reported on the internet survey conducted in the spring, projected changes in the Bulletin (moving to on-line form), and the introduction, in 1998, of the "hume-mem" internet post list.

(4) Ted Morris presented a report on behalf of the retiring editors (himself and Don Garrett) of Hume Studies.

(i) The April 1998 issue is to appear during the late summer of 1999 and the November 1998 issue in September 1999. A double issue (the last of the old editors together with the first of the new editors) is under consideration for November 1999.

(ii) Hume Studies is in excellent financial condition, not least due to the conscientious efforts of the late Linda Morris.

(iii) Charlotte Brown has assumed the duties of book review editor for the 1998 and 1999 issues of Hume Studies.

(5) Two special motions were passed by acclamation at the business meeting. The first was a motion expressing the Society's heartfelt thanks to the retiring editors of Hume Studies, Don Garrett and Ted Morris, for their extraordinary service since 1992. The second was an expression of the Society's gratitude to the organizers of the Twenty-sixth Hume Society Conference in Cork, Stephen Darwall, Desmond Clarke and Garrett Barden, and to the local staff, the UCC philosophy department, and the University College Cork Arts Faculty Development Fund. Mikael Karlsson was asked to remind members about the year-end EC elections. Three persons should be elected to three-year terms; two present EC members whose terms are ending (Simon Blackburn and Daniel Flage) are eligible for re-election.

The meeting was adjourned at 14:30.


The Twenty-seventh Hume Society Conference:
"A Feast of Reason"
Williamsburg, Virginia, 24th - 29th July 2000

As previously announced in the Bulletin and via the "hume-mem" internet post list, the Twenty-seventh annual Hume Society Conference will be held July 24-29, 2000 in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary. The title of the conference is a "A Feast of Reason", Hume's expression for peaceable conversation among friends with whom one can "try the justness of every reflection, whether gay or serious, that may occur."

Co-directing this conference are Dorothy Coleman (College of William and Mary), James Dye (Northern Illinois University), Tito Magri (University of Rome) and Adam Potkay (College of William and Mary).

In keeping with the spirit of the "feast", papers on various aspects of Hume's life and works will be included in the program, but the focal topics are intended to be Rhetoric, Representations, Religion, and Revolution.

An excellent web page for the Williamsburg Hume Conference has been set up. The address is:


(This URL can be called up directly or through the Society's home page.) Program information and electronic registration are to be provided through this site.


Change of Venue: Twenty-eighth Hume Society Conference
to Be Held in Victoria, British Columbia

The site for the Twenty-eighth Annual Hume Society Conference in 2001, previously announced as Las Vegas, Nevada, has been changed to Victoria, British Columbia. A Las Vegas conference is now projected for 2003.

The on-site co-directors for the Victoria Conference will be David Norton and Paul Wood.

Further information is not yet available but will appear on the Society’s web site, and distributed via "hume-mem", as soon as it is received by the Secretary-Treasurer.


New Editions of Hume’s Philosophical Works
from Oxford University Press

Three new Oxford University Press editions of Hume’s philosophical works are presently available and others are scheduled for imminent publication. Three major works—A Treatise of Human Nature, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (EHU), and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (EPM)—are appearing both in student editions (in the Oxford Philosophical Texts series) and as part of the new, eight-volume Clarendon Edition of the Works of Hume, of which the Treatise, the EHU and the EPM, with accompanying historical and bibliographical materials, make up the first four volumes.

The Oxford Philosophical Texts series aims to provide authoritative teaching editions of the major texts in western philosophy. Individual volumes include interpretive introductions and explanatory notes.

Tom L. Beauchamp is the editor of the student editions of both the EPM (Jan 98) and the EHU (Jan 99). In addition to a discussion of the Treatise and Abstract, the introductory material in these editions includes 'How to use this book', an interpretive essay, and suggestions for further reading. In each case, Hume's text (the critical text prepared for the Clarendon editions) is followed by extensive explanatory annotations, a glossary, a list of references and a comprehensive index. Like the Clarendon editions, the Oxford Philosophical Text editions number the paragraphs of self-contained parts or sections of Hume's texts, providing the basis for standardization of references to these texts.

The student edition of the Treatise and the Abstract, edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton, is currently in press. Although the Clarendon Edition of these works will run to two volumes, the student edition is fitted into a single volume of about 650 pages. Introductory material includes suggestions on how to use the book and for further reading. The Editors' Annotations offer, along with textual summaries and explications of difficult passages, greatly amplified cross-references, identifications of the many unnamed earlier authors to whom Hume alludes, and information about the philosophical context of the Treatise.

The first of the new Clarendon editions of Hume's texts to appear was An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, edited by Beauchamp. This volume provides scholars with a definitive critical text based on the 1772 edition (the last version to be seen through the press by Hume himself) and a complete, computer-assisted collation of the ten editions of the work prepared for the press by Hume. Prof. Beauchamp's Introduction includes a history of the work, a bibliographical schema of the editions, word-by-word comparisons, with their originals, of passages surviving from the Treatise, and an account of the reception of EPM during Hume's lifetime. Volumes 1 and 2 of the Clarendon edition of Hume's works are made up of the Treatise, Abstract, and A Letter from a Gentleman (the last edited by M. A. Stewart); these volumes are expected to be available in the second half of 2001. An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, making up Volume 3 of the Clarendon edition, is expected to appear in mid-2000. These volumes include historical and bibliographical materials of the sort found in the Clarendon EPM.

Oxford Philosophical Texts:
An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, ed. Tom L. Beauchamp 0-19-875184-2 / paperback / £6.99; 0-19-875185-0 / cloth / £19.99
An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, ed. Tom L. Beauchamp 0-19-875248-2 / paperback / £6.99; 0-19-875249-0 / cloth / £19.99
A Treatise of Human Nature and the Abstract, ed. David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton 0-19-875172-9 / paperback / £9.99; 0-19-875173-7 / cloth / £30.00

The Clarendon Edition of Hume's Works:
An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, ed. Tom L. Beauchamp Vol. 4 of The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume 0-19-823500-3 / cloth only / £45.00


Páll S. Árdal Presents Personal Library
to University of Akureyri

Páll S. Árdal, Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and a well-known and respected member of the Hume Society, presented his personal library to the University of Akureyri, in the north of Iceland, on the 16th of July, 1999, the occasion of that institution's 10th anniversary. Akureyri is Páll S. Árdal's home town.

The collection presented by Páll consists mostly of philosophical works, especially works dealing with the philosophy of David Hume. The collection was formally received by Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and by Sigrún Magnúsdóttir, Head Librarian at the University of Akureyri.