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An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

David Hume

Book Overview: 

The Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a shortened and simplified version of Hume’s masterpiece A Treatise of Human Nature. It sought to reach a wider audience, and to dispel some of the virulent criticism addressed toward the former book. In it, Hume explains his theory of epistemology, and argues against other current theories, including those of John Locke, George Berkeley, and Nicolas Malebranche.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .a of cause and effect; since the particular powers, by which all natural operations are performed, never appear to the senses; nor is it reasonable to conclude, merely because one event, in one instance, precedes another, that therefore the one is the cause, the other the effect. Their conjunction may be arbitrary and casual. There may be no reason to infer the existence of one from the appearance of the other. And in a word, such a person, without more experience, could never employ his conjecture or reasoning concerning any matter of fact, or be assured of anything beyond what was immediately present to his memory and senses.

Suppose, again, that he has acquired more experience, and has lived so long in the world as to have observed familiar objects or events to be constantly conjoined together; what is the consequence of this experience? He immediately infers the existence of one object from the appearance of the oth. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: (*) For it

Hume is one of the best, most quotable and reasonable philosophers of all time. Besides Schopenhauer and maybe Plato, no one had a greater mind. He was not quite the lucid prosodist Arthur was, and not quite the poet Plato was, but when it comes to directing humanity away from superstition and towar

دیوید هیوم همچون لاک و بارکلی از فلاسفه‌ی تجربه‌گراست. این فلاسفه معتقدند که تجربه منبع اصلی معرفت و شناخت است.

- درباره‌ی کتاب

فلسفه‌ی غامض، فلسفه‌ی واضح
هیوم فلسفه را به دو قسم تقسیم می‌کند: غامض، واضح. معتقد است که هر دو مورد نیاز است. اگر فلسفه‌ی غامض به صورت تخصصی نباشد، فلسفه‌ی واضح شکل نخواهد گر

So I had to read this for my class "A Prehistory of Affect: Reading the Passions." It was a pretty panicked situation: I got randomly chosen to do a 30 minute presentation on this text... in the first week of my Masters. I had one week to read the Enquiry and prepare my presentation. It was incredib

‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب یکی از سه کتابِ ارزشمندی است که از دلِ مطالبِ کتابِ اصلیِ زنده یاد بزرگترین فیلسوفِ تاریخ انگلستان، با عنوان "در طبیعت انسان" بیرون آمده است که اینگونه برای ریویو نویسی من نیز ساده تر و بهتر است و میتوانم در مورد نوشته های دیگر از این فیلسوفِ خردگرا، برایتان ب

تا تونستم کِشش دادم، ولی خب تموم شد متأسفانه! متن پیچیده نیست و آسان‌فهم است. به غیر از بخش اول کتاب، که فکر کنم خودِ هیوم هم خیلی دوست‌اش نداشته باشه، بقیه‌ی بخش‌ها عالی هستند. بحث معروف علیت هم در این کتاب آمده است. در بخش ده در رد معجزه بحث کرده است که خب جالب بود. خواندن‌اش رو به هرکسی که یه ذره

Returning to an old friend! The first text I was given to study as a philosophy undergraduate, and what pleasure to revisit.

I'm not sure that Hume changed my thinking as a young man so much as brought the delight of recognition. The sweeping away of superstition, fantasy systems, spiritual mumbo jum

Addition since my first review: The Problem of Induction is always something to keep in mind, for we humans are used to finding a solid ground to maintain a sense of certainty on the events of the outside world. What reasons are we to justify that what we repeatedly experienced in the past will stil

I didn't particularly enjoy this book. Hume is both pretentious and self-indulgent. While he makes a good case for experience being a necessary prerequisite for knowing effect from cause, he also contradicts himself variously and accords to experience more authority than he accredits it in certain o

I had seen so many references to Hume's Enquiry that I almost thought I had read it; but, when I actually got around to opening the book, I found as usual that things were not quite as I had imagined. I was not surprised by his relentless scepticism, or by his insistence on basing all reasoning on e

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