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An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume) Hardcover – January 11, 2001

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ISBN-13: 978-0198250609 ISBN-10: 0198250606

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Editorial Reviews


Tom Beauchamp has produced two excellent editions, which will remain the standard editions of both Enquiries for years to come. An enormous amount of research has gone into this edition... Tom Beauchamp [has given] thirty years of devotion to the writings of Hume brought to ... a splendid conclusion, ... Beauchamp has attended to "the extreme Accuracy of Style" that Hume demanded and has produced reliable texts of the two enquires, edited to the highest standards. O. M. Brack, Eighteenth-Century Scotland

About 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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Product Details

  • Series: The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Clarendon Press (January 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198250606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198250609
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,829,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
David Hume was perhaps the leading light in the Empiricist movement in philosophy. Empiricism is seen in distinction from Rationalism, in that it doubts the viability of universal principles (rational or otherwise), and uses sense data as the basis of all knowledge - experience is the source of knowledge. Hume was a skeptic as well as empiricist, and had radical (for the time) atheist ideas that often got in the way of his professional advancement, but given his reliance on experience (and the kinds of experiences he had), his problem with much that was considered conventional was understandable.

Hume's major work, 'A Treatise of Human Nature', was not well received intially - according to Hume, 'it fell dead-born from the press'. Hume reworked the first part of this work in a more popular way for this text, which has become a standard, and perhaps the best introduction to Empiricism.

In a nutshell, the idea of empiricism is that experience teaches, and rules and understanding are derived from this. However, for Hume this wasn't sufficient. Just because billiard balls when striking always behave in a certain manner, or just because the sun always rose in the morning, there was no direct causal connection that could be automatically affirmed - we assume a necessary connection, but how can this be proved?

Hume's ideas impact not only metaphysics, but also epistemology and psychology. Hume develops empiricism to a point that empiricism is practically unsupportable (and it is in this regard that Kant sees this text as a very important piece, and works toward his synthesis of Empiricism and Rationalism). For Hume, empirical thought requires skepticism, but leaves it unresolved as far as what one then needs to accept with regard to reason and understanding.
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An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume)
This item: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume)
Price: $150.00
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