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date: 26 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This paper focuses on Hume’s discussions of evil, with an eye toward both contemporary disputes in philosophy of religion and Hume’s own eighteenth-century context. Following preliminary remarks about the texts and context, the second section explores the wide variety of problems of evil found in Hume’s writings, arguing that this multifaceted presentation is one of Hume’s greatest contributions to contemporary discussions of evil. In the third section, the focus shifts to the unfolding discussion of evil in Dialogues X–XI, offering a close, critical reading of the exchanges between Philo and Cleanthes. The final section consists of a critical evaluation of Hume’s main claims concerning God and evil, ending with an overview of Hume’s enduring legacy on this topic.

Keywords: Evil, suffering, misery, theodicy, God, problem of evil, atheism, agnosticism, Leibniz, Bayle

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