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HermeneuticaComputer-Assisted Interpretation in the Humanities$
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Geoffrey Rockwell and Stéfan Sinclair

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034357

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034357.001.0001

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The Artifice of Dialogue: Thinking Through Scepticism in Hume’s Dialogues (Fourth Interlude)

The Artifice of Dialogue: Thinking Through Scepticism in Hume’s Dialogues (Fourth Interlude)

Chapter:
(p.167) 10 The Artifice of Dialogue: Thinking Through Scepticism in Hume’s Dialogues (Fourth Interlude)
Source:
Hermeneutica
Author(s):

Geoffrey Rockwell

Stéfan Sinclair

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034357.003.0010

How can dialogue be structured and how can use analytics to ask about dialogue? Chapter 10 is the last Interlude or example of text analysis using Voyant Tools. In this Interlude we look at Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion as an example of written dialogue and an example of an author showing humanistic dialogue. We tell the story of an ideal text analysis experiment that follows the drama of the dialogue and asks how themes are presented when the author doesn’t speak (only his characters do.) The theme of scepticism is shown as a way of questioning that has a long history in the humanities. We tell a story of questioning a dialogue in dialogue that is extended with analytical tools. The main character Philo’s scepticism is challenged as unrealistic. We believe that Philo’s scepticism is ultimately shown to be productive of understanding just as text analysis can show us new views that we can respond to in productive ways.

Keywords:   David Hume, Dialogue, Scepticism, Themes, Questioning

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