Read An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Philosophical Texts) by David Hume Free Online
Book Title: An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Philosophical Texts)|
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The author of the book: David Hume
Edition: Oxford University Press
Date of issue: March 25th 1999
ISBN 13: 9780198752486
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 24.41 MB
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The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of truly practical and accessible guides to major philosophical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world up to modern times. Each book opens with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist which covers the philosopher's life, work, and influence. Endnotes, a full bibliography, guides to further reading, and an index are also included. The series aims to build a definitive corpus of key texts in the Western philosophical tradition, forming a reliable and enduring resource for students and teachers alike.
Now one of the most widely read works in philosophy, David Hume's An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (1748) introduced his philosophy to a broad educated readership. In it he gives an elegant an accessible presentation of strikingly original and challenging views about the limited powers of human understanding, the attractions of skepticism, the compatibility of free will and determinism, and weaknesses in the foundations of religion. In this volume, an authoritative new version of the text is enhanced by detailed explanatory notes, a glossary of terms, a full list of references, and a section of supplementary readings.
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Read information about the authorDavid Hume (/ˈhjuːm/; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish historian, philosopher, economist, diplomat and essayist known today especially for his radical philosophical empiricism and scepticism.
In light of Hume's central role in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosophy, Bryan Magee judged him as a philosopher "widely regarded as the greatest who has ever written in the English language." While Hume failed in his attempts to start a university career, he took part in various diplomatic and military missions of the time. He wrote The History of England which became a bestseller, and it became the standard history of England in its day.
His empirical approach places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, and a handful of others at the time as a British Empiricist.
Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic "science of man" that examined the psychological basis of human nature. In opposition to the rationalists who preceded him, most notably René Descartes, he concluded that desire rather than reason governed human behaviour. He also argued against the existence of innate ideas, concluding that humans have knowledge only of things they directly experience. He argued that inductive reasoning and therefore causality cannot be justified rationally. Our assumptions in favour of these result from custom and constant conjunction rather than logic. He concluded that humans have no actual conception of the self, only of a bundle of sensations associated with the self.
Hume's compatibilist theory of free will proved extremely influential on subsequent moral philosophy. He was also a sentimentalist who held that ethics are based on feelings rather than abstract moral principles, and expounded the is–ought problem.
Hume has proved extremely influential on subsequent western philosophy, especially on utilitarianism, logical positivism, William James, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive philosophy, theology and other movements and thinkers. In addition, according to philosopher Jerry Fodor, Hume's Treatise is "the founding document of cognitive science". Hume engaged with contemporary intellectual luminaries such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, James Boswell, and Adam Smith (who acknowledged Hume's influence on his economics and political philosophy). Immanuel Kant credited Hume with awakening him from "dogmatic slumbers".