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Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: And Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy) Hardcover – March 5, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0521843409 ISBN-10: 0521843405

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy
  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521843405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521843409
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,498,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, first published in 1748, is a concise statement of Hume's central philosophical positions. This volume offers helpful annotation for the student reader, together with an introduction that sets this profoundly influential work in its philosophical and historical contexts.

About the Author

Stephen Buckle is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By linzhonglu on June 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
it is vrey good for people to learn something about the empiricism and the motivation that triggers the beginning of rationalism
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