Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects: Volume 4

A. Millar
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Publisher
A. Millar
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Published on
Dec 31, 1754
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Pages
270
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English
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'Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.' Thus ends David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, the definitive statement of the greatest philosopher in the English language. His arguments in support of reasoning from experience, and against the 'sophistry and illusion' of religiously inspired philosophical fantasies, caused controversy in the eighteenth century and are strikingly relevant today, when faith and science continue to clash. The Enquiry considers the origin and processes of human thought, reaching the stark conclusion that we can have no ultimate understanding of the physical world, or indeed our own minds. In either sphere we must depend on instinctive learning from experience, recognizing our animal nature and the limits of reason. Hume's calm and open-minded scepticism thus aims to provide a new basis for science, liberating us from the 'superstition' of false metaphysics and religion. His Enquiry remains one of the best introductions to the study of philosophy, and this edition places it in its historical and philosophical context. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
 The Scottish philosopher, historian and essayist David Hume is known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. Hume conceived philosophy as the inductive, experimental science of human nature, building on the epistemology of the English philosopher John Locke, which enabled him to explore how the mind acquires knowledge. This comprehensive eBook presents Hume’s complete works, with numerous illustrations, rare texts appearing in digital print for the first time, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)


* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Hume’s life and works

* Concise introductions to the novels and other texts

* All the essays and treatises, with individual contents tables

* Includes rare essays appearing for the first time in digital publishing

* Images of how the books were first published, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts

* Excellent formatting of the texts

* Includes Hume’s letters

* Features two biographies - discover Hume’s intriguing life

* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres


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CONTENTS:


The Books

A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE

AN ABSTRACT OF A BOOK LATELY PUBLISHED ENTITLED A TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE ETC.

ESSAYS, MORAL, POLITICAL, AND LITERARY

A LETTER FROM A GENTLEMAN TO HIS FRIEND IN EDINBURGH

AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING

A TRUE ACCOUNT OF THE BEHAVIOURS AND CONDUCT OF ARCHIBALD STEWART

AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING THE PRINCIPLES OF MORALS

LETTER TO THE AUTHOR OF THE DELINEATION OF THE NATURE AND OBLIGATION OF MORALITY

SCOTTICISMS

FOUR DISSERTATIONS

THE HISTORY OF ENGLAND

DIALOGUES CONCERNING NATURAL RELIGION


The Autobiography

MY OWN LIFE


The Biographies

LIFE AND CORRESPONDENCE OF DAVID HUME by John Hill Burton

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY: DAVID HUME by John Malcolm Mitchell


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This is the first edition in over a century to present David Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Dissertation on the Passions, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, and Natural History of Religion in the format he intended: collected together in a single volume. Hume has suffered a fate unusual among great philosophers. His principal philosophical work is no longer published in the form in which he intended it to be read. It has been divided into separate parts, only some of which continue to be published. This volume repairs that neglect by presenting the four pieces that Hume in later life desired to "alone be regarded as containing [his] philosophical sentiments and principles" in the format he preferred, as a single volume with an organization that parallels that of his early Treatise of Human Nature.

This edition’s introduction comments on the historical origins and evolution of the four parts and draws attention to how they mutually inform and support one another. The text is based on the first (1758) edition of Hume’s Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. Notes advise the reader of the changes made in the final (1777) edition. Excerpts from the work of some of Hume’s most important contemporary critics are included as appendices. Hume’s abundant references to ancient historians, geographers, poets, and philosophers—many of them now quite obscure—are rendered accessible in this volume through extensive textual notes and a bibliography of online sources.

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