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A Treatise of Human Nature

David Hume

Book Overview: 

This book, published in two volumes called “books” by the author, is a treatment of everything from the origin of our ideas to how they are to be divided. It includes important statements of Scepticism and Hume’s experimental method. Part 1 deals with the nature of ideas. Part 2 deals with the ideas of space and time. Part 3 deals with knowledge and probability. Part 4 deals with skeptical and other systems of philosophy, including a discussion of the soul and personal identity.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . we feel and are penetrated with the solidity of the subject, nothing can be more disagreeable than fear and terror; and it is only in dramatic performances and in religious discourses, that they ever give pleasure. In these latter cases the imagination reposes itself indolently on the idea; and the passion, being softened by the want of belief in the subject, has no more than the agreeable effect of enlivening the mind, and fixing the attention.

The present hypothesis will receive additional confirmation, if we examine the effects of other kinds of custom, as well as of other relations. To understand this we must consider, that custom, to which I attribute all belief and reasoning, may operate upon the mind in invigorating an idea after two several ways. For supposing that in all past experience we have found two objects to have been always conjoined together, it is evident, that upon the appearance of one of these objects in an impression, we must from custom. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I decided to read this book after a long walk that I took while listening to a Philosophy Bites episode titled "Who's your favourite philosopher?" In it, Nigel Warburton simply asks a host of prominent philosophers the question, and the answers, predictably, vary wildly. But one name kept popping up

Hume continues the tradition of Locke and Berkeley, by demonstrating that causal connections are only in the mind of the perceiver, not actually in the world of perceived events.

لا يسعني سوى الإنضمام إلى زمرة القراء الذين قرأوا الكتاب و أعقب ذلك إحساسهم بأنهم أحرزوا إنجازا ذا شأن .. هيوم و قبل أن يستقل علم النفس المهيب بنفسه و قبل أن يدعم هذا العلم نفسه بفنون التحليل و معجزات الطب .. استطاع أن يشرح الفيلسوف و يُشرِّح عمليات التفكير و الشعور و الإحساس و الخيال و كل العمليات

Its more of an observers manual than a user manual.

Hume dissects human nature into various categories and asks questions. He further goes and tries to derive a response through logic and what rationality he could come up with. He vaguely notes if logic and rationality in themselves are mutable and

Yes good

2/5 empiricism was a mistake. Out of the three empiricist philosophers I read, Hume deals with the most complex issues and treats the problems of the nature of ideas, causality and morality to their complete conclusion (often a contradictory/self-defeating one), but his fanatical devotion to the emp

"I was awoken from my dogmatic slumber." -Kant, on reading Hume.

In my opinion, this is probably one of the most thoroughly logical and most disturbing books ever written. Hume's use of reason completely dissects that habituation that we call "intuition", and moreover, shows how inductive reasoning i

The real ‘scandal’ is not what Kant referred to in his 800 page rebuttal to Hume’s belief of skepticism about the real world, or the ‘scandal’ that Heidegger referred to that we were still debating the phenomenal world as such, the real scandal is that more people don’t read books like this one. Hum

David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature is not a breezy book. From the first page, it plunged me into a fervid mode of double-layered analysis in which my struggle to comprehend the text was mirrored by efforts to track my personal reactions to whatever content I was able to wrest from it. Early on,

I just wrote a long review of this book, and Goodreads or the internet ate it. Grrrr... Here are the high points of that review.

Three years to read this. Of that, almost the full time was stuck on the first two parts of the second book, which seemed both dull and pointless. It ended up that it was j

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