Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: And Other Writings
David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, first published in 1748, is a concise statement of Hume's central philosophical positions. It develops an account of human mental functioning which emphasizes the limits of human knowledge and the extent of our reliance on (non-rational) mental habits. It then applies that account to questions of free will and religious knowledge before closing with a defence of moderate scepticism. This volume, which presents a modified version of the definitive 1772 edition of the work, offers helpful annotation for the student reader, together with an introduction that sets this profoundly influential work in its philosophical and historical contexts. The volume also includes a selection of other works by Hume that throw light on both the circumstances of the work's genesis and its key themes and arguments.
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Of a particular providence and of a future state1
Of the academical or sceptical philosophy
A Letter from aGentleman to hisFriend in
Of theImmortality of theSoul
Selections from Humes letters
Of the reason of animals
My Own Life
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Seite 144 - If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: For it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
Seite 101 - That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish.
Seite 100 - A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined.
Seite 115 - Our most holy religion is founded on faith, not on reason; and it is a sure method of exposing it to put it to such a trial as it is by no means fitted to endure.
Seite 135 - Do you follow the instincts and propensities of nature, may they say, in assenting to the veracity of sense ? But these lead you to believe that the very perception or sensible image is the external object. Do you disclaim this principle, in order to embrace a more rational opinion, that the perceptions are only representations of something external? You here depart from your natural propensities and more obvious sentiments ; and yet are not able to satisfy your reason, which can never find any convincing...
Seite 15 - The less forcible and lively are commonly denominated "thoughts" or "ideas." The other species want a name in our language. and in most others: I suppose. because it was not requisite for any but philosophical purposes to rank them under a general term or appellation. Let us. therefore. use a little freedom and call them "impressions.
Seite 76 - Would you know the sentiments, inclinations, and course of life of the Greeks and Romans ? Study well the temper and actions of the French and English.