Its importance was not generally recognized at the time. David’s mother, Catherine, a daughter of Sir David Falconer, president of the Scottish court of session, was in Edinburgh when he was born. The poor reception of this, his first and very ambitious work, depressed him; he later said, in his Autobiography, that “it fell dead-born from the press, without reaching such distinction, as even to excite a murmur among the zealots.” But his next venture, Essays, Moral and Political (1741–42), won some success. Pressed a little later to study law (in the family tradition on both sides), he found it distasteful and instead read voraciously in the wider sphere of letters. Hume conceived of philosophy as the inductive, experimental science of human nature. A splendid edition. Book III, on morals, characterizes moral goodness in terms of “feelings” of approval or disapproval that people have when they consider human behaviour in the light of agreeable or disagreeable consequences, either to themselves or to others. My Own Life (1777) Of Suicide (1777, 1755) Objectors alleged heresy and even atheism, pointing to the Treatise as evidence (Hume’s Autobiography notwithstanding, the work had not gone unnoticed). In this sort of togetherness it is a fact that the impression or idea of the one event brings with it the idea of the other. His Historybecame a best-seller, finally giving him the financial independence he had long sought. The Treatise was Hume’s attempt to formulate a full-fledged philosophical system. His father died just after David’s second birthday,leaving him and his elder brother and sister in Katherine Falconer Hume realized that David was uncommonly precocious,so when his older brother went up to Edinburgh University, Hume wentwith him, although he was only 10 or 11. From the publisher: As part of the tried and true model of informal essay writing, Hume began publishing his Essays: Moral, Political and Literary in 1741. GREAT Professor of Political Science, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, 1969–85. Returning to England in 1737, he set about publishing the Treatise. A habitual association is set up in the mind; and, as in other forms of habit, so in this one, the working of the association is felt as compulsion. He came from a“good family” (MOL 2)—socially well connected butnot wealthy. From the publisher: David Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, composed before the author was twenty-six years old, was published in 1739 and 1740. Hume was the younger son of Joseph Hume, the modestly circumstanced laird, or lord, of Ninewells, a small estate adjoining the village of Chirnside, about nine miles distant from Berwick-upon-Tweed on the Scottish side of the border. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals book. The latter is a rewriting of Book I of the Treatise (with the addition of his essay “On Miracles,” which became notorious for its denial that a miracle can be proved by any amount or kind of evidence); it is better known as An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, the title Hume gave to it in a revision of 1758. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? In his third year his father died. Black Friday Sale! - Hume, David. A permanent online resource for Hume scholars and students, including reliable texts of almost everything written by David Hume, and links to secondary material on the web. Although the Treatise is Hume’s most thorough exposition of his thought, at the end of his life he vehemently repudiated it as juvenile, avowing that only his later writings presented his considered views. An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is an attempt to define the principles of human knowledge. Book II, “Of the Passions,” describes an elaborate psychological machinery to explain the affective, or emotional, order in humans and assigns a subordinate role to reason in this mechanism. Biographer of Locke and Rousseau. • 1734. © 2020 The Foundation for Constitutional Government Inc. All rights reserved. That is to say, the mind does not create any ideas but derives them from impressions. Hume Texts Online Texts Notes ... Posthumous Works. Hume attributing the failure of his Treatise to the…, From the publisher: David Hume’s comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. He also wrote on political economy (the Political Discourses, 1752) and history (the multivolume History of England, 1754–62). Hume states that no causal relation among the data of the senses can be observed, for, when people regard any events as causally connected, all that they do and can observe is that they frequently and uniformly go together. In the first place, all such objects are either “impressions,” data of sensation or of internal consciousness, or “ideas,” derived from such data by compounding, transposing, augmenting, or diminishing. In 1734, after trying his hand in a merchant’s office in Bristol, he came to the turning point of his life and retired to France for three years. Each, so far as reason is concerned, could be different: the contradictory of every matter of fact is conceivable. Taking the scientific method of the English physicist Sir Isaac Newton as his model and building on the epistemology of the English philosopher John Locke, Hume tried to describe how the mind works in acquiring what is called knowledge. Because of the intensity and excitement of his intellectual discovery, he had a nervous breakdown in 1729, from which it took him a few years to recover. David Hume was born on May 7 [April 26, Old Style], 1711. David Hume is famous for the elegance of his prose, for his radical empiricism, for his skepticism of religion, for his critical account of causation, for his naturalistic theory of mind, for his thesis that “reason is...the slave of the passions,” and for waking Immanuel Kant from his “dogmatic slumber,” as Kant himself admitted. THINKERS, Essays: Moral, Political, Literary (1741-1777), Enquiries concerning Human Understanding and concerning the Principles of Morals (1748, 1751). Therefore, there can be no logically demonstrative science of fact. A word that does not stand directly for an impression has meaning only if it brings before the mind an object that can be gathered from an impression by one of the mental processes just mentioned. (Both the British Library and the Cambridge University Library still list him as “David Hume, the historian.”) But even as a librarian, Hume managed to arouse the ire of the “zealots.” In 1754, his order f… https://www.britannica.com/biography/David-Hume, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of David Hume, Undiscovered Scotland - Biography of David Hume, Electric Scotland - Biography of David Hume, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy - Biography of David Hume, David Hume - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up), An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, “Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals”, “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding”.

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