Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary

David Hume
Hume, David
(1711-1776)
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Translator/Editor
Eugene F. Miller, ed.
First Pub. Date
1742
Publisher
Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, Inc.
Liberty Fund, Inc.
Pub. Date
1987
Comments
Publication date details: Part I: 1742. Part II (Political Discourses): 1752. Combined: 1777. Includes Political Discourses (1752), "My Own Life," by David Hume, and a letter by Adam Smith.
Copyright
Portions of this edited edition are under copyright. Picture of David Hume courtesy of The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.
About this Book

DAVID HUME'S greatness was recognized in his own time, as it is today, but the writings that made Hume famous are not, by and large, the same ones that support his reputation now. Leaving aside his Enquiries, which were widely read then as now, Hume is known today chiefly through his Treatise of Human Nature and his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. The Treatise was scarcely read at all during Hume's lifetime, however, and the Dialogues was not published until after his death. Conversely, most readers today pay little attention to Hume's various books of essays and to his History of England, but these are the works that were read avidly by his contemporaries. If one is to get a balanced view of Hume's thought, it is necessary to study both groups of writings. If we should neglect the essays or the History, then our view of Hume's aims and achievements is likely to be as incomplete as that of his contemporaries who failed to read the Treatise or the Dialogues.... [From the Foreword by Eugene F. Miller]