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Hume, David (1711–1776)

David Hume, a Scottish philosopher, was one of the most highly regarded thinkers who wrote in the English language. Although his contributions to the theory of knowledge as well as to moral and political philosophy form the basis of this high opinion, he also was the author of a highly acclaimed History of England in six volumes and many essays on various literary, moral, and political topics. Hume's first major work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), in the author's own account, “fell dead-born from the press,” and its poor reception moved him to write two shorter and more popularly written essays: An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) and An Inquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1752). The section devoted to morals in the ...

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