Hume, David (1711–1776)

David Hume was Scottish. One of the great philosophers, Hume's wide-ranging thought incorporates a skeptical attack on the power of human reason along with an explanation of how the natural operations of mind and conduct generate beliefs and contribute to the formation of moral and political order. Hume suggests that we are guided less by abstract reason than by stable currents of passion, sentiment, and custom. A significant influence on his peers, including Adam Smith, and a popular figure in Enlightenment Scotland, Hume has also provided a powerful legacy to contemporary philosophers. Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the University of Edinburgh and later served as the Librarian to the Faculty of Advocates.

During his lifetime, Hume was most famous for his essays—some of which first ...

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