Rocknak, "Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects"

Hartwick’s Rocknak Publishes Book on Hume

September 20, 2012

Hartwick College Associate Professor of Philosophy Dr. Stefanie Rocknak will soon release a book titled "Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects."

This piece provides the first comprehensive account of Hume's conception of objects in Book I of A Treatise of Human Nature and goes on to discuss passionately debated claims in recent literature.

In addition to being an educator of philosophy, Rocknak is also an award-winning member of the Sculptors Guild whose artwork has appeared in numerous publications and in more than 40 exhibitions including at the Smithsonian. Her interests include the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume (the subject of her forthcoming book), the philosophy of art, and the philosophy of the mind.

"My research on Hume to date has led me to many analyses that sharply diverge from traditional accounts of his conception of objects" said Rocknak. "I am happy with the outcome and look forward to continued research on the subject."

In her book, Rocknak shows that Hume thought that objects are imagined ideas. But, she argues, he struggled with two accounts of how and when we imagine such ideas. As a result of Rocknak's detailed account of Hume's conception of objects, we are forced to accommodate new interpretations of, at least, Hume's notions of belief, personal identity, justification and causality.

Rocknak's book is one in a series entitled The New Synthese Historical Library which, according to the publisher, "publishes outstanding studies in the history of Western philosophy. In addition to scholarly monographs and collections on important historical ideas and the traditions and transformations of the philosophical habits of thought, significant texts and translations with commentaries from ancient, medieval, and early modern times have appeared in the Library. The series is not limited to any period or subject, although the vantage point of the treatises has been congenial to analytic philosophy."

The Managing Editor of the aforementioned series is Simo Knuuttila, Helsinki University and Associate Editors of the series include Daniel Elliot Garber, Princeton University and Richard Sorabji, University of London.

"Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects", published by Springer, is available on the following website:

For additional information, contact Rocknak at 607-431-4391 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

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