Forms of Government


in Philosophy and Ideology in Hume's Political Thought

Published in print March 1984 | ISBN: 9780198246589
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681028 | DOI:
Forms of Government

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This chapter examines Hume's conception of government. It considers three forms of government that Hume distinguishes: barbarous monarchy, civilized monarchy, and free government (with its two subdivisions, limited monarchy and republic). The chapter suggests that Hume has a slight preference for free government, but that this preference was expressed in such a cautious way that it could have very little impact. Hume's generalizations about government were designed to be limited in scope. Given ideal circumstances – a suitable population and the chance to devise a form of government from scratch – a republic would by the best solution.

Keywords: Hume; forms of government; monarchy; free government

Chapter.  8861 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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