Hume's 'A Treatise of Human Nature': An Introduction (Cambridge Introductions to Key Philosophical Texts)
By: John P. Wright (author)Hardback
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David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40) presents the most important account of skepticism in the history of modern philosophy. In this lucid and thorough introduction to the work, John P. Wright examines the development of Hume's ideas in the Treatise, their relation to eighteenth-century theories of the imagination and passions, and the reception they received when Hume published the Treatise. He explains Hume's arguments concerning the inability of reason to establish the basic beliefs which underlie science and morals, as well as his arguments showing why we are nevertheless psychologically compelled to accept such beliefs. The book will be a valuable guide for those seeking to understand the nature of modern skepticism and its connection with the founding of the human sciences during the Enlightenment.
John P. Wright is Professor of Philosophy at Central Michigan University, and was Visiting Professor in Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh from 2004 to 2007. He is the author of The Sceptical Realism of David Hume (1983), and co-editor of Hume and Hume's Connexions (1994) and Psyche and Soma: Physicians and Metaphysicians on the Mind-Body Problem from Antiquity to Enlightenment (2000).
Preface; 1. The author and the book; 2. First principles; 3. Causation; 4. Skepticism; 5. Determinism; 6. Passions, sympathy, and others' minds; 7. Motivation: reason and the calm passions; 8. Moral sense, reason, and moral skepticism; 9. The foundations of morals; Bibliography and further reading; Index.
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- ID: 9780521833769
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