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The Pursuits of Philosophy: An Introduction to the Life and Thought of David Hume Hardcover – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (4 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674061683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674061682
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,093,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Packed full of details and thought, and serves as a perfect primer to anyone who wants to try to understand [Hume's] work. -- Lesley McDowell Glasgow Herald 20111001

About the Author

Annette C. Baier is Distinguished Service Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of Pittsburgh.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
So Who Was David Hume After All? 26 Mar. 2012
By Erez Davidi - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
David Hume was one of the leading people in the Empiricist movement in philosophy. Empiricism doubts all principles and human knowledge unless they were learned from experience, as opposed to its major "rival" at the time, Rationalism, which asserts that reason is the source of human knowledge. Hume also held quite mild atheist ideas, at least for our time, but quite radical for then, which often interfered with his career.

In the introduction, the author makes it very clear that The Pursuits of Philosophy was written for the amateur philosopher who has an interest in learning about one of the leading philosophers of the Enlightenment Age. To ensure that the book is indeed suitable for the layman, she has even tested the book with her school teacher and nurse sisters.

Baier's writing style is very clear and precise, although somewhat dry in my opinion. Furthermore, even though this book is quite short, I still found it to be quite repetitive at times. Nonetheless, The Pursuits of Philosophy is an enjoyable read.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
a (too) short time with Le Bon David 28 May 2012
By Massimo Pigliucci - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From time to time I simply have to spend some time in the company of David Hume, either by reading him or by reading about him. He is one of the most prominent philosophers of all time, and definitely one of the top three in my personal pantheon (in case you are wondering, the other two are Aristotle and Bertrand Russell). Which is why I picked up this slim volume by Annette Baier. Too slim, as it turns out. Baier strives to give her readers a flavor of the complexities and nuances of Hume's philosophy - as well as a peek into his life, but a flavor and a peek is also we get, unfortunately. Each chapter begins with a good pedagogical device: Baier quotes from Hume's (ironically, extremely brief) autobiography, to give us an idea of what the man thought of himself and what had happened to him. Then she picks up on the same themes and explains their philosophical and historical background. Thus we get chapters on Hume's youth and his loss of faith; on his relations with his family and his first trip to France (during which he stayed near the Jesuit college where Descartes had been educated); on his second career as a historian; and on the admirable way he spent his last days as a secularist surrounded by religious bigotry. But the whole thing is accomplished in a mere 176 pages (in the non-electronic version), far too short to do justice to such a hugely influential figure, even in contemporary philosophy. A shame, and a good opportunity only partially fulfilled.
hume 21 Sept. 2014
By Frederick Mazie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
a good brief introduction to Hume's philosophy. Well written
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