, a substantial introduction, extensive annotations, a glossary, a comprehensive index, and suggestions for further reading.A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40)
, David Hume's comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature, is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. It is also the focal point of current attempts to understand 18th-century philosophy.
The Treatise first explains how we form such concepts as cause and effect, external existence, and personal identity, and to form compelling but unconfirmable beliefs in the entities represented by these concepts. It then offers a novel account of the passions, explains freedom and necessity as they apply to human choices and actions, and concludes with detailed explanations of how we distinguish between virtue and vice and of the different kinds of virtue. Hume's Abstract
of the Treatise
, also included in the volume, outlines his 'chief argument' regarding our conception of, and belief in, cause and effect.
The texts printed in this volume are those of the critical edition of Hume's philosophical works now being published by the Clarendon Press. The volume includes a substantial introduction explaining the aims of the Treatise
as a whole and of each of its ten parts, extensive annotations, a glossary of terms, a comprehensive index, and suggestions for further reading.
--This text refers to an alternate
About the Author
David hume (1711-76) devoted himself from early youth to 'philosophy and great learning'. A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) was not well received on publication, but is now viewed as his masterpiece.
Ernest Campbell Mossner is the author of many books on Hume. He has received fellowships from Columbia, Guggenheim and Fulbright, and has held the post of Professor of English and Philosophy at the University of Texas.