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A Treatise of Human Nature

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  6,677 ratings  ·  75 reviews
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally importan ...more
Hardcover, 632 pages
Published August 18th 2008 by BiblioLife (first published 1740)
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Jun 15, 2007 Darren rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, Philosophy Buffs
Shelves: alreadyread
"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 is completely without merit. Science goes out the window, and the prospect of having any knowledge of the world leaves with it. The resulting nihilism will send chills down your spine. This is why ever
Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Thanks a lot, man! You and your fancy book just had to go and wake Immanuel Kant from his "dogmatic slumber", didn't you? And every single fucking time I pick up a philosophical tome like Critique of Pure Reason I have to be reminded of how lazy I am for not thoroughly reading through all of the British empiricists. Don't get me wrong, from what I've read of yours, you seem like a very precise philosopher, but now I have to read you with scorn. Look at what yo
Duffy Pratt
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 just dull, but necessary to understand his ideas on morality.

First book - Understanding. It blows up the idea that there's a foundation in reason for induction, causation, the persistence of objects, a
Il y a une remarquable unité dans ces trois ouvrages de Hume, sur la nature humaine, le premier sur la connaissance, le second sur les passions, et le troisième sur la morale. On ne saurait pas aborder ces difficiles questions de morale sans bien s'entendre préalablement sur le sens des mots, sans quoi on courrait le risque de se laisser abuser par eux, et de se payer de belles formules qui nous plaisent, car notre imagination complète le sens qu'il n'y trouve pas par celui qui nous agrée. Cette ...more
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.
Andrew Hunt
Dec 03, 2012 Andrew Hunt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clear thinkers
Recommended to Andrew by: Immanuel Kant
Shelves: philosophy
Trenchant and profound. I wouldn't recommend the Barnes & Noble edition, which I picked up without knowing that it contained a few potentially misleading features (inexplicably, the preface to the Abstract which Hume later published is included and the Abstract itself left out).

It's good to read philosophy which, if it is sometimes obscure (though Hume very rarely is truly difficult), is so because the thoughts which it expresses are worth thinking. Certain philosophical writers of the late
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
Impressions and ideas.
Support for Locke's rejection of the concept of substance.
Support for Berkeley's rejection of abstract idea.
These are the primary topics this essay deals with. The language is pretty straightforward. This seemed much more understandable than the notes we used to receive in class. Hume's clarity of presentation is really admirable,it's not something that every philosopher possess. Worth a second read because of the relation of the concepts discussed in this book with many
Alex Lee
Much simpler shorter and less expansive than An Enquiry into Human Understanding but all the same, intensely interesting.

Karatani is correct, for Hume all knowledge is synthesis save for math, and counting, which Hume doesn't seem to be able to account for at all -- so he claims such a thing is innate. Indeed, we can grasp that such an ability (counting) and spacial-motoral skills seem to be bred into us, as innate mental structures. Still, Kant in this one area is more radical than Hume, claimi
Micah Adams
Aug 29, 2007 Micah Adams rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who need to learn how to write well
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
If you find yourself blundering through writing assignments or failing to express yourself in a clear and concise manner, pick up this volume. It is a treatise of perspicacity as well as human nature. I long to be as succinct as David Hume.
Jun 12, 2008 Brandon is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I got this brand new for a dollar. Hopefully Hume will awaken me from my dogmatic slumber as well.
A very thorough and sincere work regarding to the whole aspects of Human Nature. To be honest, this was not a book for fun reading at all except for some sections that deal with the Origin of Government, which was more than fun for me to read through partly because of my personal interest and partly due to the authort's sharp and logical presentation of his arguments.

As for the edition, this seemingly gives nothing but the original contents, which include brief Advertisement, Introduction, and A
Jordan Forster
There are many philosophers who remain of interest to students long after they have ceased to contemplate all things philosophical. For most the interest stems from the importance of the philosopher as part of the study of the history of philosophy. Few, however, retain an enduring relevance for their response to the philosophical problems they squared up to. David Hume is one of these few. Written in 1739, when Hume was aged a mere 28, the Treatise remains today one of the most important texts ...more
J'ai été assez surpris par le premier tome du traité de la nature humaine de Hume, philosophe anglais du XVIIIème siècle. Le ton annoncé dès le début : prendre le contre pied de cette manière lente et embarrassée de faire la philosophie - c'est à dire la manière de John Locke, l'homme du siècle dernier, celui qui avait fait d'Arouet le poète, Voltaire le philosophe - pour y substituer un pas plus rapide et assuré. Effectivement, l'argumentaire varié et coloré employé par Hume est plus proche de ...more
Bob Nichols
Hume's "Treatise" is divided into three books that cover understanding, passions and morals. This review is on Book II, "Of the Passions." *[Review of Book III added below, November, 2013] At first (actually, third) read, this book is a mess, but the book's meaning gains traction when viewed within Hume's overall philosophical system.

In Hume's system, the world comes at the self through the senses and ideas flow from them (impressions). As we are not just knowing beings, where do passions fit w
"The Treatise on Human Nature" is enjoyable to read for many reasons. The arguments from the “Essay on Human Understanding” here have been provided more extensive treatment. Moreover, the full depth of Hume’s moral philosophy plus his insights into human anthropology here have been provided clear outlines presented in an organized manner. The tome is lengthy, but readable.

In sum, Hume founded his vision of the human person upon the epistemology of British empiricism. One need not necessarily ag
Michael Blain
After having only read snippets of David Hume throughout my exploration of philosophy I felt compelled to read this work in its entirety, and it was impeccably brilliant far beyond my assumptions. To have written this book in his early twenties is almost incomprehensible, because hundreds of years later these words and ideas still are easily applicable to deep thought and conscious perception of the world we live in. I value Descartes for his acknowledgement of the pineal gland and its importanc ...more
Alfred Yun
Probably one of my favorite philosophers and his relevance emanates to this very day. I watched a few debates concerning the applicability of science and philosophy on morality. All four debates referred to Hume's problem of induction and debated over the validity of compatibilism. He's one of the easier reads for young philosophers due to clear prose and straightforward vocabulary. Hope you all dig deeper into the rabbit hole of philosophy through this book!
very interested by the prospects of philosophical discussion of what Hume terms the "passions" but personally think a methodology which starts on the surface and proceeds downward would be of more use. Hume is progressive in that he recognizes the necessity of societal analysis with regard to ethics but his perspective is rooted in bourgeois ideology. influential text, pretty interesting.
How can one not love David "Betwixt" Hume:

"We find by experience, that two bodies, which are so placed as to affect the senses in the same manner with two others, that have a certain extent of visible objects interposed betwixt them, are capable of receiving the same extent, without any sensible impulse or penetration, and without any change on that angle, under which they appear to the senses."

Excellent lectures on Hume:
Cassandra Kay Silva
This one took me a good bit of time to traipse through. Not only was it long on the outset, but I downloaded it on my e reader and the e reader version included a whole host of footnotes and notes by the gentleman who reviewed it that quite took up a lot of time. I am unsure if the notes were well presented in this format as it soon became very difficult to discern what was the bulk of the work and what was in fact just a note on the work. Overall though Hume Treatise of Human Nature is mind blo ...more
Jan 26, 2008 Ethan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thinking human beings, philosophers, people interested in intellectual history
Shelves: favorites
Hume has always been one of my favorite philosophers. There are few areas of philosophy in which I can't say that I am something of a Humean. I find myself coming back to Hume for inspiration in his unique brand of skepticism in epistemology and metaphysics and his type of sentiment theory in ethics. The Treatise is not his best-written work (that would probably be the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion or the Enquiries), but it is his most comprehensive. If more philosophers throughout histo ...more
David Hume makes me feel like an idiot. his thoughts are so orderly, his mind so clear. he finished his treatise before he was 28.

he anticipates neuroscience, quantum mechanics, depression, everything malcolm gladwell ever wrote; explains celebrity culture, the origin of society, the rise of republicanism, and the sexual double standard between men and women.

i can't even fathom what he'd be like in conversation, but i'm going to read more about him now that i've read this treatise. hopefully so
If you have ever taken a Philosophy course, it's incredibly likely that you'll have had to read this at some point and with good reason. A Treatise of Human Nature is an extraordinary account of how the mind and therefore humans work and covers absolutely everything you could wish to contemplate on. It is a mighty beast of a book though which requires a great deal of effort from the reader to get through. I will admit that there were parts where I skimmed and flicked through, but from the majori ...more
Vishal Misra
Hume writes engagingly, warmly and with cutting, impeccable logic. In this three part book the famous sceptic explores human nature superbly. For those who tackle this book it is important to have a good grounding in classical English writings, otherwise the phraseology may lose you.

My favourite part was part 3, the origins of morals. As a person deeply interested in moral control within society it is of great interest to see Hume expand upon empirical observations of morality. In many ways thi
Sam Motes
From simple impressions bring simple ideas whereas complex impressions bring about complex ideas. This was dense read that was a struggle to get through at times but very deep thought from David Hume and understandable why it is a corner stone of philosophic thought. Hume���s idea of taking ideas of one example of a person or object and then conveying that idea on similar persons or objects goes a long way to explain how we interact with the world as well as why we fall victim to racism. Hume��� ...more
Reinhard Gobrecht
Ein großes Buch über den menschlichen Verstand. In diesem Buch werden wichtige Fragen gestellt und beantwortet, z. B.:
-Weshalb erfordert alles eine Ursache?
-Was ist Wissen, Wahrscheinlichkeit und Glauben?
-Warum ist die Seele unkörperlich?
-Warum muß man gegenüber der Vernunft und den Sinnen skeptisch sein?
-Was ist Freiheit, was ist Notwendigkeit?
u. v. a.
Extraordinarily insightful psychologist as well as breezy but oh so clever logical analyst. Well, Hume might not prefer to be called a 'logical analyst' but what else do you want to call his arguments against metaphysical sacred cows of the self, world, and of logic itself? I don't know! This is a world-wrecking and possibly very cynical work but also the greatest example of sustained philosophical argument I've ever read. I love reading Hume, hate having to argue against Humean positions, but n ...more
Craig Barrett
The Selby edition is the one used in most graduate in philosophy programs. The ideas presented by Hume is ground-breaking and remnants of many of its themes can be found in many theory's to come after. Most interesting is Hume's idea that determinism is INFACT necessary for moral responsibility; most argue that determinism undermines the idea of moral responsibility. Most notable still is that Hume write this while in his 20s! Incredible. Fantastic piece of work. Undertake in a group/class/ or r ...more
Jenny Park
i give it this many stars because he was exhaustingly difficult to read, yet worth every effort of dissection. although, i dont really see eye to eye with his theories... his premise is that everything we know, all of our ideas-- come from experiences. he uses the microscope and razor method to dissect any type of abstract concept that comes his way (aka metaphysics... theology/religion) oh, and there's the FORK-- okay, i dont think i need to go on. philosophy writers are pretty dry.... but wort ...more
too dense to read if you do not have a lot of time.
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  • A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge
  • An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  • Philosophical Essays
  • Critique of Practical Reason (Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • Word and Object
  • On Certainty
  • Naming and Necessity
  • The World as Will and Representation, Vol 2
  • Ethics
  • Language, Truth, and Logic
  • Principia Ethica (Philosophical Classics)
  • Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge
  • The Concept of Mind
  • Phenomenology of Spirit
  • The Philosophy of Language
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. He is an important figure in Western philosophy, and in the history of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Hume first gained recognition and respect as a historian, but academic interest in Hume's work has in recent years centered on his philosophical writing. His History of England was the standard work on English history for many years, unt
More about David Hume...
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion/The Natural History of Religion (Oxford World's Classics) Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding/Concerning the Principles of Morals

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“Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” 226 likes
“Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.” 26 likes
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