August 14, 2011
Imagine a time when a dispute between two philosophers was the talk of high society. That is the time that our guest, Robert Zarertsky, describes in his book “The Philosophers’ Quarrel: Rousseau, Hume, and the Limits of Human Understanding.” He tells the story of the short and dramatic friendship between Hume and Rousseau. Hume, who championed the progress of the sciences and arts, and Rousseau, who questioned progress, wondering whether it was just another word for moral decay and despair. He also discusses the implications their friendship may have had on the Enlightenment’s conceptions of reason and human understanding.
Robert Zaretsky is a professor of French history at the University of Houston Honors College and the Department of History. He has published several books about philosophy and history of philosophy.