Happy to Unite, or Not?



At several key moments in his works, Hume draws our attention to the differences between two conceptions of philosophy. Deploying what were already then well-worn metaphors, he calls these two “species” of philosophy “anatomy” and “painting.” Hume’s remarks about philosophical anatomy and painting have recently given rise to a number of scholarly debates. I focus here on just one of these debates: did Hume intend to combine anatomy and painting in some of his later works? Through an examination of the evidence that has to date been adduced, I argue that we have at least one very good reason to think that such were Hume’s intentions, and no good reason to suppose otherwise.