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Grant number like: FT-56053-08

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Rico Vitz
University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL 32224-7699)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2008 – 8/31/2008

Delusive and Dangerous? Hume's Naturalistic Psychology of Religious Belief

David Hume opens The Natural History of Religion by suggesting that "every enquiry, which regards religion, is of the utmost importance." He immediately goes on to identify two questions that demand our attention: an epistemological question that concerns the extent to which religious belief is founded in reason, and a psychological question that concerns the way in which religious belief is grounded in human nature. Hume scholars have focused the overwhelming amount of their attention on the epistemological question, largely neglecting the psychological question. With the NEH Summer Stipend, I will revise a draft of a paper in which I elucidate and analyze one aspect of Hume's naturalistic psychology: namely, the sustaining causes of religious belief. The paper is a part of a series of articles I am developing on Hume's naturalist psychology of religious belief and will serve as the basis for two chapters in a book I intend to develop on the topic.