Tag: David Bain

Historic Doubts Concerning HORansome

Bishop Whately’s ‘Historic Doubts Concerning Napoleon Bonaparte’ is a funny and fascinating book. Written whilst Napoleon was alive, Bishop Whately casts doubts as to the existence of the Corsican by running the scepitical line that a) Napoleon’s life seems extraordinary-qua-miracluous, b) there has been no historical figure like him in the past and c) the reports of his exploits are consistently inconsistent. The first point is a veiled attack at the accepted wisdom of Hume on miracles whilst the second point relates to the problem of induction and the German view of what qualifies as historical fact. The entire book is reductio ad absurdum which could all too easily be read as being serious in tone when it is, in fact, a (still) apt reminder that dogmatic scepticism is just as bad, if not worse, than credulism. (more…)