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A Letter from a Gentleman [David Hume]

A Letter from a Gentleman [David Hume]

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The position was to be vacated by John Pringle, and the leading candidates were Hume and William Cleghorn. The Edinburgh Town Council was responsible for electing a replacement; consequently, politics was a key factor in the decision. Loyalties were drawn chiefly along the two key political party lines: the Argathelians (Hume's party), and the Squadrones (Cleghorn's party). Pringle, a Squadrone, procrastinated in stepping down, thus allowing the Squadrones to unify their opposition to Hume by condemning his anti-religious writings. Chief among the religious critics was clergyman William Wishart (d. 1752), the Principal of the University of Edinburgh. Although Wishart was an Argathelian, his dislike of Hume's philosophy rose above political allegiance; it is also relevant that Wishart too sought the position for which Hume was applying. Lists of allegedly dangerous propositions from Hume's Treatise circulated, presumably penned by Wishart.

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