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David Hume

Subject: Philosophy

(1711–76) Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. His philosophy rejected the possibility of certainty in knowledge, and he agreed with John Locke that there are no ...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–1776)   Reference library

Australian Law Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Law
Length:
51 words

...Hume, David ( 1711–1776 ) Philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment , influential in naturalism (natural science), British Empiricism and skepticism. Modern-day experimental ethics, Kantian and other theories of duty and free will and naturalistic cognitive law owe much to Hume and to aristotle . Hume formulated the is/ought problem. See also hobbes ; locke ; liberalism...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
76 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) Scottish philosopher , historian , and man of letters . Hume's publications include A Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739–40 ), History of England ( 1754–63 ), and various philosophical ‘enquiries’. Widely known for his humanitarianism and philosophical scepticism , Hume's philosophy was a form of empiricism that affirmed the contingency of all phenomenal events. He argued that it was impossible to go beyond the subjective experiences of impressions and ideas. See also Berkeley, George ; Locke,...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Sociology (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
87 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) The most significant philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment and founding figure of empiricism, Hume is best remembered for his ‘constant conjunction’ account of causality, and the associated problem of induction. Hume is also remembered for his insistence that moral values could never be deduced from factual premisses (no inference from ‘is’ to ‘ought’) and for his rejection of the ‘self-interest’ view of human nature and morality. He also attempted to lay the foundations for an empirical science of human nature. See also ...

Hume, David

Hume, David   Quick reference

A Dictionary of British History (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
98 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ). Philosopher and historian , the younger son of a strict presbyterian laird, Hume lost his Christian belief at Edinburgh University in the 1720s. His Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739–40 ) provided a devastating critique of contemporary metaphysics, which cleared the ground for a genuinely empirical account of human understanding. His massive History of England ( 1754–63 ) is a neglected masterpiece, which remained a best‐seller for more than a century. In general, Hume wanted to recommend a ‘sceptical Whiggery’ to his contemporaries...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Oxford Guide to Literary Britain & Ireland (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature, Society and culture
Length:
34 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ), historian and philosopher : b. and educ. Edinburgh ; lives in Edinburgh and is Keeper of the Advocates’ Library 1752 ; buried in Edinburgh . Political Discourses 1752 , History of Great Britain 1754–61...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to English Literature (7 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Literature
Length:
543 words

...Hume favoured an explanation based on custom and convenience. His closest ally on political and economic matters was Adam Smith . Hume wrote little directly about literature, despite his own polished literary style, but he was friendly with the poet James Thomson , and expressed a strong preference for the classicism of John Milton and Alexander Pope , against the wildness of Shakespeare . See Ernest C. Mossner , The Life of David Hume (2nd edn, 1980) ; The Letters of David Hume , ed. J. Y. T. Greig (1932) ; New Letters of David Hume , ed....

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

The Concise Oxford Companion to English Literature (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Literature
Length:
348 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) Philosopher , born and educated in Edinburgh. He spent three years ( 1734–7 ) in private study in France, and in 1739 published anonymously his Treatise of Human Nature , a sceptical account of the workings of the mind, which sold poorly. His Essays Moral and Political ( 1741–2 ) was more popular. A Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend in Edinburgh ( 1745 ) includes Hume's defence of his Treatise when he contended unsuccessfully for the moral philosophy chair at Edinburgh, against the opposition of Francis Hutcheson and ...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3 rev. ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion
Length:
776 words

... A. [G. N.] Flew , Hume's Philosophy of Belief: A Study of his first Inquiry (1961); id., David Hume, Philosopher of Moral Science (Oxford, 1986); J. B. Stewart , The Moral and Political Philosophy of David Hume (New York and London, 1963); D. Forbes , Hume's Philosophical Politics (Cambridge, 1975); B. [G.] Stroud , Hume (London, 1977); J. C. A. Gaskin , Hume's Philosophy of Religion (1978; 2nd edn., 1988); J. L. Mackie , Hume's Moral Theory (1980); J. Harrison , Hume's Theory of Justice (Oxford, 1981). G. Strawson , The Secret...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–1776)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, modern history (1700 to 1945)
Length:
3,554 words

..., ed. The Letters of David Hume . 2 vols. Oxford, 1932. Herdt, Jennifer A. Religion and Faction in Hume's Moral Philosophy . Cambridge, 1997. Jones, Peter . Hume's Sentiments: Their Ciceronian and French Context . Edinburgh, 1982. Livingston, Donald W. Hume's Philosophy of Common Life . Chicago, 1984. Millican, P. J. R. , ed. Reading Hume on Human Understanding . Oxford, 2002. Mossner, Ernest Campbell . The Life of David Hume . 2d ed. Oxford, 1980. Useful for a broad view, but untrustworthy in documentation and detail. Norton, David Fate , ed. The...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009

..., David ( 1711–76 ), Scottish philosopher and historian ; arguably no single writer so greatly influenced the course of British thought in the era of Romanticism. Hume's controversial Treatise on Human Nature ( 1739 ), essays on religious themes, and the multi- volume History of Great Britain ( 1754–62 ) all changed in diverse ways the thinking of radical, moderate, and conservative intellectuals. Well-read in the Graeco-Roman sceptics and modern empiricist traditions, Hume sought to investigate the human condition in a rigorously inductive fashion,...

Hume, David

Hume, David  

Dictionary of the Social Sciences

Reference type:
Subject Reference

..., David ( 1711–1776 ) The principal philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, best known for his strong empiricism and his argument against the possibility of grasping necessary causality by induction. The former informed Hume's rejection of speculative philosophy and theology—indeed of all claims to truth that lay outside human experience. The basis for knowledge, he argued, lies only in the experience of the senses. Knowledge cannot be grounded in the abstractions of reason, however logical. Hume's argument against causality—or more precisely, against...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

Nicholas Phillipson

The Oxford Companion to British History (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
215 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) . Philosopher and historian, the younger son of a strict presbyterian laird, Hume lost whatever Christian belief he had at Edinburgh University in the 1720s. His Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739–40 ) provided a devastating critique of contemporary metaphysics, which cleared the ground for a genuinely empirical account of human understanding. He devoted the 1740s to clarifying the principles of his philosophy and applying them to contemporary political issues. His massive History of England ( 1754–63 ) is a neglected masterpiece, which...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–1776)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Writers and their Works (3 ed.)

..., David ( 1711–1776 ) British philosopher and historian A Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739 ) Non-Fiction Essays Moral and Political [volume i] ( 1741 ) Non-Fiction Essays Moral and Political [volume ii] ( 1742 ) Non-Fiction Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding ( 1748 ) Non-Fiction Three Essays, Moral and Political ( 1748 ) Non-Fiction An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals ( 1751 ) Non-Fiction Political Discourses ( 1752 ) Non-Fiction Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects ( 1753–6 ) Non-Fiction The...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
3,947 words

...A. , Hume's Philosophy of Religion (1978, 1988). Hall, Roland , Fifty Years of Hume Scholarship: A Bibliographical Guide (1980). Mossner, Ernest Campbell , The Life of David Hume (Oxford, 1954, 1970; 2nd edn, 1980). Norton, David Fate , David Hume: Common-Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician (Princeton, New Jersey, 1982). —— (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume (Cambridge, 1993). Noxon, J. , Hume's Philosophical Development (1973). Price, John Valdimir , David Hume (1968; 2nd edn, 1991). Smith, Norman Kemp , The Philosophy of David Hume ...

Hume, David

Hume, David   Reference library

Encyclopedia of Aesthetics

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2008
Subject:
Art & Architecture, Philosophy
Length:
7,537 words

...Religion (1757). In David Hume: The Philosophical Works, edited by Thomas Hill Green and Thomas Hodge Grose , vol. 4. London, 1882–1886; reprint, Darmstadt, 1964. Hume, David Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1778). Edited by Norman Kemp Smith . Oxford, 1935; 2d ed. London, 1947. Hume, David The Letters of David Hume . 2 vols. Edited by J. Y. T. Greig . Oxford, 1932. Hume, David New Letters of David Hume . Edited by Raymond Klibansky and Ernest C. Mossner . Oxford, 1954. Other Sources Brunius, T. David Hume on Criticism . Stockholm, 1951....

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of World History (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
History
Length:
97 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) 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...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

Lincoln Allison

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
1,565 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) Scottish empiricist philosopher and historian , who, born in Edinburgh and remaining unmarried, held several posts in his life, but never achieved high office in the academic world or elsewhere. He did, though, achieve the ‘literary fame’ which was his sole expressed ambition: his work was widely admired and discussed in Scotland, France, England, and beyond, and his reputation, though viciously attacked by eminent Victorians such as Carlyle, has been maintained on a high level ever since. This reputation is not primarily as a...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
282 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ). Philosopher, religious sceptic, historian, and leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment. His most important philosophical works were: A Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739–40 ), An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding ( 1748 ), and An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals ( 1751 ). In them Hume took the empiricism of Locke and Berkeley a stage further, reaching sceptical conclusions about the foundations of our knowledge of the external world, about inductive reasoning and rational ethics (he pointed to the logical gap...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2016
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
1,119 words

..., David ( 1711–76 ) Scottish philosopher , historian , and essayist . Hume is the most influential thoroughgoing naturalist in modern philosophy, and a pivotal figure of the Enlightenment . Born the second son of a minor Scottish landowner, Hume attended Edinburgh university. In 1734 he removed to the little town of La Flèche in Anjou to write and study (it is possible that the presence of the Jesuit College at which Descartes and Mersenne had been educated, influenced this decision). In 1739 he returned to oversee the printing of the ...

Hume, David

Hume, David (1711–76)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
Philosophy
Length:
4,121 words

...and Commitment in Hume's Philosophy (New York, 1996). J. C. A. Gaskin , Hume's Philosophy of Religion (London, 1978, 1988). N. Kemp Smith , The Philosophy of David Hume (London, 1941). Peter Millican (ed.), Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry (Oxford, 2002). E. C. Mossner , The Life of David Hume (Oxford, 1954, 1970). David Fate Norton , David Hume: Common Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician (Princeton, NJ, 1982). ——(ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume (Cambridge, 1993). Barry Stroud , Hume (London,...

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