Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are. One of the most important thinkers ever to write in English, the Empiricist David Hume liberated philosophy from the superstitious constraints of religion; here, he argues that all are free to choose between life and death, considers the nature of personal taste and succinctly criticises common philosophies of the time.
David Hume was born in Edinburgh in 1711, and by his death in 1776 had become one of Britain's greatest men of letters, equal in stature to Voltaire and Rousseau and described by Boswell as 'the greatest Writer in Brittain'. As well as his Essays, which were republished and expanded throughout his life, he wrote A Treatise of Human Nature (later recast as Enquiries concerning Human Understanding and concerning the Principles of Morals) and a History of Britain.