A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects (Fontana philosophy classics)

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9780006329091: A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects (Fontana philosophy classics)

One of the most significant works of Western philosophy, Hume's Treatise was published in 1739-40, before he was thirty years old. A pinnacle of English empiricism, it is a comprehensive attempt to apply scientific methods of observation to a study of human nature, and a vigorous attack upon the principles of traditional metaphysical thought. With masterly eloquence, Hume denies the immortality of the soul and the reality of space; considers the manner in which we form concepts of identity, cause and effect; and speculates upon the nature of freedom, virtue and emotion. Opposed both to metaphysics and to rationalism, Hume's philosophy of informed scepticism sees man not as a religious creation, nor as a machine, but as a creature dominated by sentiment, passion and appetite.

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Product Description:

A Treatise of Human Nature is a book by Scottish philosopher David Hume, first published at the end of 1738. While many scholars today consider the Treatise to be Hume's most important work and one of the most important books in the history of philosophy, the public in Britain did not at first agree. Hume himself described the (lack of) public reaction to the publication of the Treatise by writing that the book "fell dead-born from the press." It contains the following sections: Book 1: "Of the Understanding" – An investigation into human cognition. Important statements of Skepticism. Book 2: "Of the Passions" – A treatment of emotions and free will. Book 3: "Of Morals" – A treatment of moral ideas, justice, obligations, benevolence.

Review:

These new Oxford University Press editions have been meticulously collated from various exatant versions. Each text has an excellent introduction including an overview of Hume's thought and an account of his life and times. Even the difficult, and rarely commented-on, chapters on space and time are elucidated. There are also useful notes on the text and glossary. These scholarly new editions are ideally adapted for a whole range of readers, from beginners to experts. ( Jane O'Grady, Catholic Herald, 4/8/00.)

One of the greatest of all philosophical works, covering knowledge, imaginatio, emotion, morality and justice. Hume is down-to-earth, capable of putting other, pretentious philosophers down, but deeply sceptical even about his own reasoning. Baroness Warnock, The List, The Week 18/11/2000

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