Elena Yi-Jia Zeng
I joined the Faculty of History in 2020. Supervised by Professor Richard Bourke FBA, my doctoral thesis 'The Politics of Belief in Hume and Enlightenment Scepticism' looks into the nature and status of belief in Hume’s religion, morality and politics as well as his place in the sceptical tradition from Pierre Bayle to the Kant-Jacobi debate. I am particularly interested in the question of how epistemic and ideational factors may influence political judgement and public opinion from a sceptic's perspective.
I was elected as a Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society in 2022. Before Cambridge, I obtained the MA in the History of Political Thought and Intellectual History at Queen Mary University of London and University College London in 2019 with Distinction. My MA dissertation investigated the Scottish responses to the American Revolution in the context of the early modern debates over the republican dilemma of empire and liberty. In 2018, my BA dissertation won the best undergraduate research award in Taiwan.
Enlightenment political thought and intellectual history
British and Irish political history c. 1700–present
ethics of belief
'The Role of Philosophy in Hume’s Critiques of British Imperial Politics', Early Moderns on the Power of Philosophy, University College Dublin, 14–15 October 2022, Dublin, Ireland.
'Hume’s Political Epistemology and the Critiques of Empire', Histories of Knowledge: Political, Historical and Cultural Epistemologies in Intellectual History, ISIH Conference, Università Ca' Foscari, 12-15 September 2022, Venice, Italy.
‘History as the Ethics of Belief: the Case of Hume’s History of England’, Intellectual History Graduate Conference, European University Institute, 7–8 June 2022, Florence, Italy.
'Belief and Action in Hume’s Religion', Naturalizing Religion in the Scottish Enlightenment Conference, organised by the Center for Ethics, University of Antwerp and the Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, 8–10 September 2021, Antwerp, Belgium.
'Adam Ferguson on Political Representation and the Liberty of the British Empire', Oxford Graduate Conference in Political Theory, 26–27 April 2021, online.
'Empire and Liberty in Adam Ferguson's Republicanism', Research Center for Humanities and Social Science, Academia Sinica, 21 August 2020, Taipei, Taiwan.
'Beyond Liberal and Conservative: The Third Way of Reading Hume', Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, 13 August 2020, Taipei, Taiwan.
History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (Part I Paper 20/POL 8)
Tags & Themes
515 King's College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST