An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals: A Critical Edition

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Overview

An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, first published in 1751, was the third of David Hume's major philosophical treatises. Hume's aim in this elegant and lucid work was to present in an accessible way his theory of the foundation of morality in human nature, a theory which had developed significantly since he first addressed the subject in A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40). He considered this Enquiry to be 'of all my writings, historical, philosophical, or literary, incomparably the best'. The authoritative version of the text presented here is based upon the 1772 edition that was seen through the press by Hume himself. The editor's introduction sets the work in its historical context; the annotations provide information about Hume's sources, allusions, citations, and meanings, to help readers towards a full understanding of the text. A biographical appendix identifies the many people mentioned by Hume in the Enquiry. Separate bibliographies list the works cited by Hume and by the editor. Hume's original index is reproduced, together with a new general index by the editor.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A splendid edition. Schneewind's illuminating introduction succinctly situates the Enquiry in its historical context, clarifying its relationship to Calvinism, to Newtonian science, and to earlier moral philosophers, and providing a persuasive account of Hume's ethical naturalism. --Martha C. Nussbaum, Brown University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Georgetown University
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Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction. Note on the Text.
David Hume: An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (Text with Annotations).
Glossary. Editorial Appendix. Biographical Appendix. List of References. Catalogue of Hume's References. Hume's Index. Editor's Index.

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