Sorry for the radio-silence, have been busy at work etc. I will return to David Hume in due course.
The introduction to philosophy online course began last Wednesday and will last 10 weeks.
Week one is about general introductions and starting to hit the reading list / join in the forum discussions.
First assignment was to make a post on the subject "What is philosophy?" and then to begin the reading list. My answer to the question is as follows:
"I sometimes think it is easier to define philosophy in terms of what it isn't rather than what it is. It isn't a pure science such as physics or biology or a pure art such as painting or writing music. It isn't a practical skill such carpentry or computer programming or a game such as football or chess. It isn't a set of faith-based beliefs such as religion or a set of political beliefs such as socialism.
Finally, for me philosophy isn't even a way of doing something, even thinking.
For me philosophy is an enquiry, even a search, and is defined by the type of questions it addresses.
Philosophy enquires into fundamental questions of knowledge and belief. What do or can we have knowledge of? What do we believe about ourselves and the world around us and how can we justify these beliefs? What is truth? What is good? What is just? For all of these questions philosophy tries to find answers but most of all philosophy tries to find better ways of providing answers to these questions."
First item on the reading list is the introduction to Simon Blackburn's 'Think', which I am currently reading.