Selective philosophical works of Scottish Philosopher David Hume

The philosophical works of David Hume: Scottish Philosopher : Selected Writings

Below you will find some summaries of philosopher and Scottish Enlightenment figure David Humes' most important writings: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and An Enquiry Concerning the Principle of Morals. These summaries were written by Rev Dr Wally Shaw - a teacher & philosopher. We hope to bring you a summary of "a treatise of human nature" in due course.

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

This precis follows the numbers of the O.U.P edition, an Open University set book for easy reference and is offered as an introduction to it.

on Liberty and Necessity
Communication depends upon the supposition that other minds are like one's own and that another's terms are affixed to the same ideas as one's own.

on Miracles
Our experience is our only guide in reasoning concerning matters of fact; but it, itself, is not infallible. A summary of Hume's moral philosophy and beliefs on the philosophy of religion.

on Providence and a Future State
Those philosophers who are interested in religion but reject the traditions of your forefathers and the doctrines of your priests are trying to discern how far religion can be established on the principles of reason.

on the Academic or Sceptical Philosophy
There are not to be found more philosophical reasoning's on any subject than those refuting the Atheists by proving the existence of a Deity.

on the Reasoning of Animals
Concerning animals, two things are evident.

David Hume - Citizen of the World

The teaching philosophy lesson David Hume "Citizen of the World" as performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is available to purchase from

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Sceptical Doubts concerning the Operations of the Understanding
There are two types of objects of human reason: Relations of Ideas and Matters of Fact.

Sceptical Solution of these Doubts
One's passion for philosophy, as for religion, can bring an assumption that one is aiming at virtue when all he is doing is using the bias of his natural nature.

the Association of Ideas
There is a connection between different thoughts or ideas of the mind and their appearance in memory or imagination.

the Idea of Necessary Connection
Mathematical sciences have this advantage above the moral sciences: the ideas of the former are clear and determinate even to the smallest distinction.

the Origin of Ideas
Everyone agrees that there is a difference between the present perceptions of the mind (as in feeling pain of excessive heat and the pleasure of warmth) and the later memories of these sensations or anticipation of them in his memory.

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An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

This summary is offered to what Hume considered to be "incomparably the best of all my writings". It uses the numbering of the O.U.P edition to encourage reference to the fuller text.

on Benevolence
Benevolence brings good-will and all languages have words such as sociable, good-natured, humane, merciful, grateful, friendly, and generous.

on Justice
What if nature had provided abundantly for all the needs and desires of humanity and no labour was required for anyone

on Political Society
If everyone observed and persevered with justice and equity there would be no need for government or laws.

on Qualities Immediately Agreeable to Others
Virtue can be defined as a quality of the mind approved by all who reflect on it. Some virtues produce pleasure because they are useful to society or to the individual.

why utility pleases
As a building with a square door does not suit the human figure, so social virtues are praised for their utility.

on Qualities Immediately Agreeable to Ourselves
Consider spending an evening with melancholy people, when a good-humoured, cheerful companion enters.

on Qualities of Usefulness to Ourselves

It seems evident that the following are faults when they hinder a person in his work or action: indolence, negligence, lack of order, obstinacy, fickleness and rashness.

The works of David Hume - summary

We hope this summary of the works of Scottish Philosopher David Hume have been stimulating. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have on The works of David Hume : summary.

We also have a selective David Hume Biography. Did you know that philosopher David Hume came 2nd in the BBC's Greatest Philosopher Vote?.

clarendon edition

The Clarendon Edition covers all of Scottish Enlightenment figure David Hume writings apart from the History of England and minor historical writings.

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