Selected Essays by David Hume

Selected Essays

In his writings, David Hume set out to bridge the gap between the learned world of the academy and the marketplace of polite society. This collection, drawing largely on his Essays Mortal, Political, and Literary (1776 edition), comprehensively shows how far he succeeded.As seen in these selections, Hume embraces a staggering range of social, cultural, political, demographic, and historical concerns, charting the state of civil society, manners, ...

Details Selected Essays

TitleSelected Essays
Release DateNov 19th, 1998
PublisherOxford University Press
GenrePhilosophy, Writing, Essays, Nonfiction, Politics, Classics

Reviews Selected Essays

  • Rick
    Reread. Not the entire "Essays, Moral and Political," but most of them. Always struck by how contemporary Hume sounds, even, or maybe especially, when he's wrong. We're living in his world, not Kant's.
  • Alex Lee
    David Hume was one of those late bloomers. His mum thought him daft until he started to become famous because of his writing. In reading this collection, you can see how plodding he is in his thinking. Perhaps he seemed daft because of how he questioned. While this collection is just a loose set of essays, you can detect in him a critical ruthlessness in examining what the basis for anything is. Hume seems to have found, even before Foucault, a h...
  • Shya̋m
    Assist yourself by a frequent persual of the entertaining moralists: have recourse to the learning of Plutarch, the imagination of Lucian, the eloquence of Cicero, the wit of Seneca, the gaiety of Montaigne, the sublimity of Shaftesbury.Moral precepts, so couched, strike deep, and fortify the mind against the illusions of passion. But trust not altogether to external aid: by habit and study acquire that philosophical temper which both gives force...
  • Lisa
    Relevance to todayHume wrote about England and Europe and monarchies and republics and revolution and the will of the people. Though he t was a different time and different forms of government his essays are still relevant today. Dictators,kings,religious leaders and all who would like to retain power once they have it.
  • Grady McCallie
    There are at least two ways to read this short collection of political essays by the Scottish philosopher David Hume: as an historical document, reflecting the views of a leading thinker of the Scottish Enlightenment of the mid- to late-1700s; or as essays that speak across two and a half centuries with an improbable clarity and freshness, as though one were reading a letter about politics from a friend, or a particularly thoughtful essay in Moth...
  • Jamie
    It was David Hume who roused Kant from his dogmatic slumber. It wasn’t just their differences on the subject of what we can know and how we know it that were polar opposites. So too were their writing styles. Anyone who has ever slogged their way through Kant knows what a relief it is to read anything by David Hume. He manages to present important and complex ideas with clarity and simplicity. Reading most philosophers is like being verbally bl...
  • Greg Leatherman
    Essential reading for people interested in the development of representational governments, the art of conversation, historical cycles, personal responsibility, and critical analysis. It's not a quick or easy read. I read some paragraphs multiple times in order to glean their full meaning, but it was worth it. Some passages, however, sang with such brilliance that I have to place Hume in the highest rank of intellectual companions. I especially e...
  • Shelley
    Hume is considered a philosopher but these essays show a broader range to his knowledge. He is also a historian and an economist. Even though these essays were written in the 1700's, I was impressed by the clarity of his language. Most writing from that time period seems so obtuse and old-fashioned that it is sometimes too difficult to decipher its meaning. Hume's essays, in contrast, are fairly easy to read and comprehend. I was also impressed b...
  • John Yelverton
    David Hume makes some goods points in his essays concerning the need for checks and balances in his essays concerning government; however, whatever good points he makes are completely drowned out by his ramblings on society and his utter and complete contempt for all things religion. I do not recommend this book.
  • Andy Crooks
    This is an amazing collection of essays. He wrote much more than I had ever thought and the essays have application to my life and thinking.
  • Jackson Cyril
    Having only read Hume's "History of England" before this, it was quite cool to read his insights on a variety of topics. His easy prose and sharp wit made reading them quite enjoyable.
  • Katherine Simmons
    Probably more a 3.5 to be fair but not a four.
  • J.W.D. Nicolello
    Strongly recommended for thou, O forlorn bus-dweller.
  • Filipe Albert
    Amazingly contemporary, a must-read for those who want to understand basic liberalism.
  • Doris Raines
    This. Is. A. Wonderful. Book. Dont. You. Think. So
  • Alex
    The short essay on The Epicurean is totally worth reading. This philosophy rivals Stoicism.