Spring 1999, Vol. XXVIII, No. 1

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

New Editors for Hume Studies

The Hume Society, through its Executive Committee, undertook a search for a new team of editors for Hume Studies to replace Don Garrett and Ted Morris, whose tenure is coming to an end and who could not be persuaded to continue on with the excellent work that they have been doing.

Editing Hume Studies is a demanding job which is unpaid, at least by the Society, so that for a long while no candidates were forthcoming. However, in February, Elizabeth Radcliffe and Kenneth Winkler proposed to the Executive Committee to take over the editorship from Don and Ted. Their proposal was well drafted, and good institutional support appeared to be in place. Therefore, with great satisfaction, the Executive Committee decided to accept this proposal. The Committee has full confidence in Elizabeth and Ken, both of whom have been serving on the Executive Committee and are very active in the Society. Naturally, Elizabeth and Ken did not take part in the Executive Committee’s deliberations concerning their proposal.

Members should note that Don Garrett and Ted Morris are still the editors of Hume Studies and have yet to bring out the 1998 issues (the first just coming out) and the first issue for 1999. The address of Hume Studies is therefore unchanged for the present. Elizabeth and Ken have meanwhile already begun work on their first issue of Hume Studies, 1999/2.

The fact that Hume Studies has been behind schedule has caused a certain amount of confusion among the membership, but the facts are simple. The 1997 issues came out in 1998 and should have been sent to all members who were paid up for 1997. The 1998 issues, which will be sent to all members paid up for 1998 are to appear this year, and the first of them is now on its way. An effort is being made to put the publication back on schedule, and at least one of the 1999 issues should appear in 1999.


Changes in the Executive Committee

The pending assumption of the editorial responsibilities for Hume Studies by Elizabeth Radcliffe and Ken Winkler (see previous item) is good news for the journal and for the Hume Society, but it creates a problem for the Executive Committee which will now lose two valued members, as the Society’s constitution prohibits editors of Hume Studies from serving on the Executive Committee. Members will recall that Elizabeth was re-elected to a three-year term in the latest EC elections, while Ken’s term was to run through the end of 1999.

The Executive Committee has decided that it would be fitting and reasonable, in the light of the most recent elections, to consider John Wright to have been re-elected for a full three-year term instead of for two years (as was announced in January), and to appoint Jacqueline Taylor to the Executive Committee for two years and Daniel Flage for one year; such appointments are authorized by our constitution. It will be recalled that both Jackie and Dan received very substantial support in the December EC elections; they will be eligible for re-election when their appointments run out


Cork Conference on "Society and Mind"

19th - 23rd July 1999: Registration in Progress!

As previously announced, the twenty-sixth conference of the Hume Society will be held at University College Cork in Cork, Ireland, July 19-23, 1999. The Directors of the Cork Conference are Steven Darwall (Michigan), Desmond Clarke (Cork) and Garrett Barden (Cork).

The theme for the conference will be "Society and Mind", construed broadly, to include Hume on the mind, society, social aspects of mind, mental aspects of society, and related topics.

Paper registration materials and detailed information about local arrangements have already been mailed to members. All the relevant information and the registration form can also be accessed through the Hume Society’s home page on the web:


The information and form are down-loadable There is no electronic registration, as registrations must be accompanied by a bank draft.

These same materials, along with other information pertaining to the conference, are also accessible through the conference web page:


(This URL can be called up directly or through the Society's home page.) Consult this site for program information.

Members planning to attend the Cork conference are urged to inspect and retrieve the registration materials at their earliest convenience, and to register without delay.


Twenty-seventh Annual Hume Society Conference:

Announcement and Call for Papers

Accompanying this issue of the Bulletin of the Hume Society is an announcement and call for papers for the Twenty-seventh Hume Society Conference, which is to be held at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia (USA), July 24-29, 2000. Members working in academic departments are asked to post this announcement. Please note that slightly different dates were advertised earlier; these had to be adjusted due to some difficulties with the local arrangements in Williamsburg.

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

The title of the conference is "A Feast of Reason", Hume’s expression for peaceable conversation among friends with whom he can "try the justness of every reflection, whether gay or serious, that may occur." The organizers will particularly welcome submissions on Hume’s views concerning the relation between reason and one of the following topics: Rhetoric, Representations, Religion, and Revolution.

Further available details may be found in the accompanying flyer and through the Society's home page on the web:


In addition, a web page specifically for the Williamsburg Hume Conference has been set up:



Hume Society Internet Survey:

Please Respond!

Included with this issue of the Bulletin is the Hume Society’s Internet Survey Form, while all members are asked to fill out and return as soon as possible. The form is very simple, and the main objective of the survey is to up-date members’ e-mail addresses in the Society’s database.

Having your correct e-mail address is of ever-increasing importance to the Society. First, it is necessary in order to run the Society’s two information lists, "hume-mem" and "hume-l". In addition, it is vital to the Society’s effort to make the Bulletin available primarily on-line, cutting down the amount of printing and mailing that has hitherto attached to the publication and distribution of the Bulletin.

Members are asked to send in their latest e-mail addresses, or to indicate their lack of an e-mail address. They are also asked whether they will be willing to forego the printed version of the Bulletin.

The Society hopes for a response from all members. Should a member not return a survey form, it will be assumed that (a) the Society already has that member’s correct e-mail address and that (b) the member in question is willing to forego the printed version of the Bulletin.

As concerns the electronic version of the Bulletin, members will simply be informed via a "hume-mem" announcement when a new Bulletin appears on the Society’s web site:


Members can then access the Bulletin via the web (the Bulletin is also archived on the web site). News up-dates will also appear on the web site without special advertisement.

Members indicating on the survey form that they wish to continue to receive the printed Bulletin will be sent the usual two numbers each year.


Hume in the 21st Century:

Twenty-eighth Annual Hume Society Conference

Scheduled for Las Vegas

The Twenty-eighth Annual Hume Society Conference is to be held at University of Nevada in Las Vegas; the dates are tentatively set for 16-20 July 2001.

The on-site director for the Las Vegas Conference will be Craig Walton. Together with Craig, the Executive Committee is currently considering the question of co-directors.

Further information is not yet available but will appear on the Society’s web site as soon as it is received by the Secretary-Treasurer.


Margaret Dauler Wilson (1939-1998)–In Memoriam

It is with great sorrow that the Hume Society notes the untimely passing, after a difficult illness, of Margaret Dauler Wilson, one of the leading American scholars in early modern philosophy and a member of the Society.

Margaret was not a very active member of the Hume Society, but she was a friend and valued colleague to many of us, and her work was highly material to the appreciation, in the wider historical and intellectual context, of the philosophy of David Hume.

Margaret was born in Pittsburgh on January 29, 1939. She graduated from Vassar College in 1960, and received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard in 1965, after a year in Oxford as a special student in 1963-64. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled "Leibniz’s Theory of Necessary Truth".

Margaret taught at Columbia University (1965-67), was an Assistant Professor at University from 1967 to 1970, and afterwards taught at Princeton University, where she was the first woman faculty member in the philosophy department’s history. In 1975, she was promoted to Full Professor and was named Stuart Professor of Philosophy in 1998.

Among the many honors that she received were the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1989) and the Behrman Award for Distinction in the Humanities at Princeton (1994). She received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation (1977-78) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1990) and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 1985 to 1990, she was President of the Leibniz Society of North America, and in 1994-95 she served as President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association.

Margaret was an outstanding and meticulous scholar, the author of numerous, excellent papers in modern philosophy and of an outstanding book on the philosophy of Descartes. Her published work spanned a wide range of topics in the metaphysics, epistemology and philosophical psychology of the early modern period. Margaret wrote about subjectivism and idealism, truth and necessity, primary and secondary qualities, and mind and body. Of late, she was particularly interested in questions of mind and consciousness and was actively exploring questions of animal consciousness and out from that the moral questions which are involved in our dealings with animals.

During her last illness, Margaret compiled a collection of her philosophical essays which will soon be forthcoming and which will serve, among other things, as a monument to her achievements as a leading scholar of the history of modern philosophy.

Margaret was a concerned and inspiring teacher and a conscientious colleague. Recently, the Hume Society was sent a copy of a memorial resolution, drafted by a special committee at Princeton, and approved by a rising vote of the Princeton University Faculty on December 7th, 1998. The signers are her colleagues Beatrice Longuenesse, Harry Frankfurt and George Pitcher.

Margaret Wilson will be much missed not only be these close colleagues but by all of those in the scholarly community—and beyond—who knew her, whether personally or through her work, not least among them Hume scholars who study the philosophy of David Hume in its historical context.