An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals: A Critical Edition

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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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780915145454
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/1/1982
  • Series: HPC Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 122
  • Sales rank: 519,936
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Georgetown University
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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2004

    Bully for Hume

    I found this text tremendously rewarding to teach. The naturalism is comfortable to me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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