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Essays: Moral, Political and Literary

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  276 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This edition contains the thirty-nine essays included in Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary that made up Volume I of the 1777 posthumous Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. It also includes ten essays that were withdrawn or left unpublished by Hume for various reasons.

Eugene F. Miller was Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia from 1967 unt
Paperback, 736 pages
Published July 8th 1985 by Liberty Fund Inc. (first published 1758)
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Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, politics
[Just a heads up my review isnt taking into account his essays on religion and suicide as I plan to tackle them separately]

Ever wondered what noted philosopher David Hume thought about trade deficits and the status of the Jacobite controversy in the 18th century? Well boy you are in for a treat.

Jokes aside like any collection of works not all of them are equal some are certainly 5 star worthy others less so, my ranking is therefore a rough average.

The general format he takes is - Introduction
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
While I consider Empiricism as a whole to be excessively close-minded and fundamentally wrong as a philosophic approach (not that it isn't useful; it is a vital part of the scientific method, after all), most of Hume's attacks against traditional knowledge are extremely well constructed, and pretty much correct in every way. Not only that, they're also hilariously offensive, but only after a little reflection. The man was a pro at insulting peoples, races and genders. Such subtlety, such delicat ...more
Absolutely phenomenal. This collection contains more history and philosophy than many books of essays three times its size. David Hume was a genius. Even when I do not agree with his positions, I can find his arguments persuasive and complete. Of particular note are "On Avarice" and "On the Meanness of Human Nature"
"It is a very comfortable reflection to the lovers of liberty, that this peculiar privilege of Britain is of a kind that cannot easily be wrested from us, but must last as long as our government remains, in any degree, free and independent. It is seldom, that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Slavery has so frightful an aspect to men accustomed to freedom, that it must steal upon them by degrees, and must disguise itself in a thousand shapes, in order to be received. But, if the liberty o ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I won't pretend that I am so erudite this all made sense to me. Maybe, with time and further study of old classics more will become clear. There were portions of this book that were clear, concise, and really profound; there were portions that I simply could not understand. No doubt differences between the world and English of the mid 1700s and the early 2000s had much to do with it. Still I gained much from this reading, enough so to finish the book. I'll keep my copy and after more study, in a ...more
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lisa by: Potter's School Classical Track Year 3
Published 1758. Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature: He argues that genuine human virtue is possible. By comparing one person to another, we can argue that some have virtue (wisdom, beauty, etc.). Even if that virtue is constrained by a measure of self-love and other vices, it's still possible to argue that people have true virtue.
Feb 04, 2009 added it
Reading for class now along with some of Hume's other works. Pretty good reading, interesting "historical philosophy"
Paul Barone
Nov 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hume's ethical and political writings in a single collection.
Grade: 85% / 'B'
Craig Bolton
"Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary by DAVID HUME (1985)"
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David Hume (/ˈhjuːm/; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish historian, philosopher, economist, diplomat and essayist known today especially for his radical philosophical empiricism and scepticism.

In light of Hume's central role in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosophy, Bryan Magee judged him as a philosopher "widely regarded as the greates
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“Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers.” 8 likes
“[I]t must be owned, that liberty is the perfection of civil society; but still authority must be acknowledged essential to its very existence: and in those contests, which so often take place between the one and the other, the latter may, on that account, challenge the preference. Unless perhaps one may say (and it may be said with some reason) that a circumstance, which is essential to the existence of civil society, must always support itself, and needs be guarded with less jealousy, than one that contributes only to its perfection, which the indolence of men is so apt to neglect, or their ignorance to overlook.” 2 likes
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