Hume: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 12 Oct 2000
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About the Author
Sir Alfred Ayer, formerly Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford from 1959 to 1978, was a Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford, and of the British Academy. He was the author of many well-known philosophical works, including Language, Truth and Logic, The Central Questions of Philosophy, and Russell. His autobiographical Part of My Life was published as an Oxford Paperback in 1978.
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Top Customer Reviews
Following a short biographical first chapter, Ayer quickly delves into an exposition of Hume's philosophy, focusing on his aims and methods, his assessment of bodies and selves, his analysis of cause and effect, and his thoughts on morals, politics and of course religion. Rather than focusing on a single work at a time, he switches back and forth between the Treatise, the Enquiry, and so on, extracting and assimilating passages seamlessly into his own examination.
Some have complained that Ayer intrudes too heavily with his analysis, shoehorning in too many of his own thoughts and ideas. Personally I didn't have a problem with it. Ayer was an important philosopher in his own right, and it was inevitable that any scholarly treatment of Hume's ideas would include their vulnerabilities and demand interpretation and critique. On balance, I don't think he overstepped the mark.
This may be a short read, but it isn't a light one, and beginners (I count myself as one) should be prepared to concentrate and even make notes to get the most out of it. If you were expecting Hume for Dummies, you'll likely feel overwhelmed and disappointed. It's worth persevering though. I came away with not only a deeper understanding of Hume's own philosophy but also a capacity to actually reflect on the ideas themselves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book offers a general overview of his philosophy and thinking, you don't have to read his works to know what his philosophy is about.Published 5 months ago by Harry
Review it? Come on! It's by Ayer. What's to say? Just buy it.Published on 22 Feb. 2015 by Louis
This is not so much an introduction to Hume as a brief and limited consideration of the areas Hume was interested in. Read morePublished on 7 April 2013 by MotionlessArrival
As the reviews posted previously have pointed out, this book was not originally written as an OUP Very Short Introduction. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2012 by James the King