An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a book by the Scottish empiricist philosopher David Hume. This book has proven highly influential, both in the years that would immediately follow and today. Immanuel Kant points to it as the book which woke him from his self-described "dogmatic slumber". The argument of the Enquiry proceeds by a series of incremental steps, separated into chapters which logically succeed one another. After expounding his epistemology, Hume explains how to apply his principles to specific topics. I. Of the Different Species of Philosophy II. Of the Origin of Ideas III. Of the Association of Ideas IV. Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding V. Sceptical Solution of these Doubts VI. Of Probability VII. Of the Idea of Necessary Connexion VIII. Of Liberty and Necessity IX. Of the Reason of Animals X. Of Miracles XI. Of a Particular Providence and of a Future State XII. Of the Academical or Sceptical Philosophy
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is a philosophical work written by the Scottish philosopher David Hume. Through dialogue, three fictional characters named Demea, Philo, and Cleanthes debate the nature of God's existence. While all three agree that a god exists, they differ sharply in opinion on God's nature or attributes and how, or if, humankind can come to knowledge of a deity. In the Dialogues, Hume's characters debate a number of arguments for the existence of God, and arguments whose proponents believe through which we may come to know the nature of God. Such topics debated include the argument from design - for which Hume uses a house - and whether there is more suffering or good in the world (Argument from evil)
Some People are subject to a certain delicacy of passion,1 which makes them extremely sensible to all the accidents of life, and gives them a lively joy upon every prosperous event, as well as a piercing grief, when they meet with misfortunes and adversity. Favours and good offices° easily engage their friendship; while the smallest injury provokes their resentment. Any honour or mark of distinction elevates them above measure; but they are as sensibly touched with contempt.° People of this character have, no doubt, more lively enjoyments, as well as more pungent° sorrows, than men of cool and sedate tempers: But, I believe, when every thing is balanced, there is no one, who would not rather be of the latter character, were he entirely master of his own disposition. Good or ill fortune is very little at our disposal: And when a person, that has this sensibility° of temper, meets with any misfortune, his sorrow or resentment takes entire possession of him, and deprives him of all relish in the common occurrences of life; the right enjoyment of which forms the chief part of our happiness. Great pleasures are much less frequent than great pains; so that a sensible temper must meet with fewer trials in the former way than in the latter. Not to mention, that men of such lively passions are apt to be transported beyond all bounds of prudence and discretion, and to take false steps in the conduct of life, which are often irretrievable.
Over a series of elegantly written, engaging essays, the Enquiry examines the experiential and psychological sources of meaning and knowledge, the foundations of reasoning about matters that lie beyond the scope of our sensory experience and memory, the nature of belief, and the limitations of our knowledge. The positions Hume takes on these topics have been described as paradigmatically empiricist, sceptical, and naturalist and have been widely influential and even more widely decried.
The introduction to this edition discusses the Enquiry’s origin, evolution, and critical reception, while appendices provide examples of contemporary responses to Hume.
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