An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Overview

A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry.

In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg...

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Overview

A landmark of Enlightenment thought, Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is accompanied here by two shorter works that shed light on it: A Letter from a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh, Hume's response to those accusing him of atheism, of advocating extreme skepticism, and of undermining the foundations of morality; and his Abstract of A Treatise of Human Nature, which anticipates discussions developed in the Enquiry.

In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg explores the conditions that led Hume to write the Enquiry and the work's important relationship to Book I of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature.

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Editorial Reviews

Donald C. Ainslie University of Toronto
"David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding is a philosophical masterpiece that explores the nature of human cognition and the limits of our knowledge. This edition of the Enquiry helpfully puts the text in its historical context by presenting it alongside responses from Hume's most significant 18th-century critics: George Campbell, Thomas Reid, James Beattie, and Immanuel Kant. Lorne Falkenstein's incisive introduction and editorial comments offer readers, whether novice or expert, a sure hand as they navigate both the deceivingly straightforward text and the critics' responses."
Jacqueline Taylor University of San Francisco
"The 1758 edition of An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding was the first to be grouped together with A Dissertation on the Passions, An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, and The Natural History of Religion. This grouping well reflects Hume's ambition to recast his earlier Treatise on Human Nature, and brings into relief his explicit criticism of religion. In four appendices, Lorne Falkenstein has thoughtfully chosen selections by Hume's contemporaries who challenge Hume on the central topics of the Enquiry: perception and reasoning, causation, and miracles. Falkenstein adds helpful notes providing further historical context. This is an excellent edition for undergraduate and graduate courses, and will be a welcome new resource for scholars."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872202290
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/1993
  • Series: Hackett Classics Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 142
  • Sales rank: 104,216
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author


David Hume (1711–1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist whose best known works include A Treatise of Human Nature, The Natural History of Religion, and The History of England.

With acting credits that span stage and screen, Gildart Jackson is most often recognized for his role as Gideon on Charmed. Other notable TV roles include Jackson Palmer on Providence and Simon Prentiss on General Hospital, and his theater roles include Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Adrian in Private Eyes at the Old Globe.

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Table of Contents

How to Use this Book 3
List of Abbreviations 5
Editor's introduction 7
The Text Printed in this Edition 54
Supplementary Reading 55
An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals 71
1 Of the General Principles of Morals 73
2 Of Benevolence 78
3 Of Justice 83
4 Of Political Society 99
5 Why Utility Pleases 104
6 Of Qualities Useful to Ourselves 119
7 Of Qualities Immediately Agreeable to Ourselves 131
8 Of Qualities Immediately Agreeable to Others 139
9 Conclusion 145
App. 1 Concerning Moral Sentiment 157
App. 2 Of Self-Love 164
App. 3 Some Farther Considerations with Regard to Justice 170
App. 4 Of Some Verbal Disputes 176
A Dialogue 185
Annotations to the Enquiry 203
Glossary 258
References 266
Index 275
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