(1711—1776) philosopher and historian
Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. His philosophy rejected the possibility of certainty in knowledge, and he agreed with John Locke that there are no innate ideas, only a series of subjective sensations, and that all the data of reason stem from experience. His philosophical legacy is particularly evident in the work of 20th-century empiricist philosophers. In economics, he attacked mercantilism and anticipated the views of such economists as Adam Smith. Among his chief works are A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40) and a five-volume History of England (1754–62).