An Enquiry Concerning The Principles Of Morals

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Highly original and challenging in its views, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding proved controversial upon its 1748 publication, and it remains so today. In terms of influence, David Hume's theory of causality ranks as the modern equivalent of Aristotle's work on the subject. Hume's philosophy roused Immanuel Kant from his self-described "dogmatic slumber," and inspired the thinking behind the Critique of Pure Reason, which introduced a completely new school of philosophy in the form of Kantian ethics. One of the most widely read works in philosophy and the best introduction to Hume's other works, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding asserts that causal relationships constitute the core of our understanding of relationships between objects in the external world. Hume establishes the factors that define a causal relationship between two objects and demonstrates that causal theory derives from the mind rather than experience. In so doing, he questions the basis of scientific causal theory, which claims validity by nature of its basis in experiential knowledge. Hume's assessment of the limitations of human understanding and the merits of skepticism make his Enquiry a work of enduring relevance and influence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783842455405
  • Publication date: 11/17/2011
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom L. Beauchamp is Professor of Philosophy and Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University. He is one of the General Editors of the Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume.
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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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