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An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 10 Jul 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (Oxford World's Classics)
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  • Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, and The Natural History of Religion (Oxford World's Classics)
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  • Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues (Oxford World's Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New Ed. / edition (10 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199549907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199549900
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 1.3 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Synopsis

'Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.' Thus ends David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, the definitive statement of the greatest philosopher in the English language. His arguments in support of reasoning from experience, and against the 'sophistry and illusion' of religiously inspired philosophical fantasies, caused controversy in the eighteenth century and are strikingly relevant today, when faith and science continue to clash. The Enquiry considers the origin and processes of human thought, reaching the stark conclusion that we can have no ultimate understanding of the physical world, or indeed our own minds. In either sphere we must depend on instinctive learning from experience, recognizing our animal nature and the limits of reason. Hume's calm and open-minded scepticism thus aims to provide a new basis for science, liberating us from the 'superstition' of false metaphysics and religion. His Enquiry remains one of the best introductions to the study of philosophy, and this edition places it in its historical and philosophical context.

About the Author

Peter Millican is founder and director of the Leeds Electronic Text Centre and editor of the journal Hume Studies. He recently edited Reading Hume on Human Understanding (OUP, 2002).


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