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A Treatise of Human Nature
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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From simple impressions bring simple ideas whereas complex impressions bring about complex ideas. This was dense read that was a struggle to get through at times but very deep thought from David Hume and understandable why it is a corner stone of philosophic thought. Hume’s idea of taking ideas of one example of a person or object and then conveying that idea on similar persons or objects goes a long way to explain how we interact with the world as well as why we fall victim to racism. Hume’s discussion of Justice and Government are also very clear on why both are critical to a functioning society.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
If Locke represents the rationally logical voice of the rationally logical 18th century, then Hume in his assertion that nothing can be stated of mind but impressions, sensations, and ideas, represents its demolition. Where Locke sees a solid inner self that connects all the dots in a clear manner, Hume sees objects that are no more than faint copies of previous sense impressions. If what we learn from our senses are not really linked in any meaningful way, then the entire Augustan apparatus of cause and effect is rendered null and void. Therefore, it does no good to visually observe phenomenon in the hopes of determining causality. One can argue, then, that Hume prepared the way for the replacement of the Age of Reason with the Age of Emotion.

An attack on the modernist praise of reason came from Scottish empiricist David Hume. In his A Treatise of Human Nature (1740), Hume depicts what he saw as the major weaknesses of rationalism. First, he noted that the world of nature--earth, wind, and fire--operated independently of man's use of reason. Second, he also questioned the rationalist claim that all human-derived actions could be deemed right or wrong. Third, he demanded proof that human nature is a constant, a claim of many rationalists. Fourth, he also denied the modernist insistence on the direct relation between a seeming cause and its equally seeming effect. Just because one event precedes another does not guarantee that the first caused the other. Hume even questioned whether all effects have causes. A seeming cause/effect link might hold true today but not necessarily tomorrow since the nature of today's cause/effect link may change over time; thus since tomorrow has not yet happened it would be premature to assume that today's link will be tomorrow's link. Hume argued that people need to believe in links, but these links are links only within the mind of an observer not within an irrefutable law of nature. Finally, Hume insisted that reason alone is insufficient to prompt one to take a specific action. Thus, he extrapolated that since moral judgments lead to a specific and desired action, it follows that these judgments must have a source point outside of reason. Hume noted that whenever an individual experiences a positive or negative significant event, that individual must react emotionally to it. The feeling engendered by this event is projected onto the event itself. Hume's conclusion: feelings and emotions directly lead to moral behavior. Hence, reason does not rule passion; it is passion which rules reason. In this sense David Hume is postmodern. However, as with Descartes, Locke, and Kant, there is far too much overlapping of theory for one theorist to be cleanly separated from another. Like any other modernist, Hume still subscribed to the notion that the inner core of any individual is given a determinate shape by virtue of its inclusion in the human species. He also held to the modernist tenet that individuals express their deepest convictions through the handy tool of language whereas a postmodernist would say that the reverse is true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2015
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Yes, it is the Treatise, but the editing is quite awful. The fonts were weird and large, and the footnotes were strangely double-spaced. There were also some randomly capitalized letters in the middle of words.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
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I read this work basically focusing upon Hume's famous theory of Cause & Effect. (To be read with 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding')
Despite the traditional philosophical ambiguities that accompany a critical interpretation of his work; it remains a 'must-read' for anyone serious about the grass roots validity of theory and experiment in Science.
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on February 17, 2015
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Great
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2015
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Great purchase.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
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David Hume was a powerful thinker. Slow methodical study will yield some pleasurable moments in thought. David Hume is worth reading.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2013
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Hume raises all sorts of profound questions, some for the first time in anglo-American thought. He was seen as a completely negative philosopher for hundreds of years, but most scholars today see him as much more positive.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2014
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Hume was a pretty good thinker and re enforces my own beliefs that his era, some 400 years ago had a few observers of human nature that equal our own today. He remains in my mind for many reasons, but outstanding, in my opinion was his comment "assume the worst of all polititians"...Philosophy writings do not appeal to many readers, but this one is worth giving it a try.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2014
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Shipped quickly, arrived safely, product as described.
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