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Book Title: An Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature|
Date of issue: 1965
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
The author of the book: David Hume
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 636 KB
Edition: Cambridge University Press
Read full description of the books An Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature:"I was awoken from my dogmatic slumber." -Kant, on reading Hume.
In my opinion, this is probably one of the most thoroughly logical and most disturbing books ever written. Hume's use of reason completely dissects that habituation that we call "intuition", and moreover, shows how inductive reasoning is completely without merit. Science goes out the window, and the prospect of having any knowledge of the world leaves with it. The resulting nihilism will send chills down your spine. This is why everyone hates philosophers, because they assault all those comfortable cushions of assumption on which we base our lives.
Many people give Kant all the credit for being the most brilliant philosopher, but when you read Hume, you realize that many of Kant's theories where just Hume's ideas turned on their heads. Hume's "veil of perception" was illuminated and developed into Kant's "forms of sensibility" and "categories of the understanding" and became the basis for Kant's "synthetic a priori". While there is no question that Kant was brilliant, I think he gets more credit than deserved just because he came to the rescue of science and provided a (tenuously) logical solution to the problems that Hume observed. Kant's nearly indecipherable language also has a certain snob appeal, while Hume's very straightforward presentation of the problems lead the intelligentsia to regard him as pedestrian. There is a certain "lifting of the nose" observed in those who have read Kant. This laughable attitude merely shows how vain and stupid some people are about what they read, and how they think it reflects their superiority.
Hume's "Treatise on Human Nature" is a book everyone should read. It is an intellectual roller coaster that will shake the very basis for every truth you think you know. Good fun!!
Read information about the authorDavid Hume (/ˈhjuːm/; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish historian, philosopher, economist, diplomat and essayist known today especially for his radical philosophical empiricism and scepticism.
In light of Hume's central role in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosophy, Bryan Magee judged him as a philosopher "widely regarded as the greatest who has ever written in the English language." While Hume failed in his attempts to start a university career, he took part in various diplomatic and military missions of the time. He wrote The History of England which became a bestseller, and it became the standard history of England in its day.
His empirical approach places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, and a handful of others at the time as a British Empiricist.
Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic "science of man" that examined the psychological basis of human nature. In opposition to the rationalists who preceded him, most notably René Descartes, he concluded that desire rather than reason governed human behaviour. He also argued against the existence of innate ideas, concluding that humans have knowledge only of things they directly experience. He argued that inductive reasoning and therefore causality cannot be justified rationally. Our assumptions in favour of these result from custom and constant conjunction rather than logic. He concluded that humans have no actual conception of the self, only of a bundle of sensations associated with the self.
Hume's compatibilist theory of free will proved extremely influential on subsequent moral philosophy. He was also a sentimentalist who held that ethics are based on feelings rather than abstract moral principles, and expounded the is–ought problem.
Hume has proved extremely influential on subsequent western philosophy, especially on utilitarianism, logical positivism, William James, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive philosophy, theology and other movements and thinkers. In addition, according to philosopher Jerry Fodor, Hume's Treatise is "the founding document of cognitive science". Hume engaged with contemporary intellectual luminaries such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, James Boswell, and Adam Smith (who acknowledged Hume's influence on his economics and political philosophy). Immanuel Kant credited Hume with awakening him from "dogmatic slumbers".
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