Reading Experience Database
1450-1945

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Record 20932

Reading Experience:

Evidence:
' [Johnson said] "Hume, and other sceptical innovators, are vain men, and will gratify themselves at any expence. Truth will not afford sufficient food to their vanity; so they have betaken themselves to error. Truth, Sir, is a cow which will yield such people no more milk, and so they are gone to milk the bull. If I could have allowed myself to gratify my vanity at the expence of truth, what fame might I have acquired Every thing which Hume has advanced against Christianity had passed through my mind long before he wrote. Always remember this, that after a system is well settled upon positive evidence, a few partial objections ought not to shake it. The human mind is so limited, that it cannot take in all the parts of a subject, so that there may be objections raised against any thing. There are objections against a plenum, and objections against a vacuum; yet one of them must certainly be true." I mentioned Hume's argument against the belief of miracles, that it is more probable that the witnesses to the truth of them are mistaken, or speak falsely, than that the miracles should be true. [Johnson then argues against this]'
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 21 Jul 1763
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: city: London
   
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Samuel Johnson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Sep 1709
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
n/a
Additional comments: n/a

 

Text Being Read:

Author: David Hume
Title: Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
Genre: Philosophy
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: n/a
Provenance: unknown

 

Source Information:

Record ID: 20932  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 314
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 314, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/reading/recorddetails2.php?id=20932, accessed: 28 January 2023

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791. This is likely to be the text in question as it contains the section on miracles mentioned by Boswel.

 

 

Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)