Hume's an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

Barry Stroud

in Philosophers Past and Present

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199608591
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729621 | DOI:
Hume's an Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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This chapter describes the overall point and structure of Hume's first Enquiry and how he saw it as achieving more convincingly the goals he had set himself in his earlier and more difficult Treatise of Human Nature. Conclusions reached there about the role of reason and of the idea of cause and effect are applied in the first Enquiry not only to our beliefs about the natural world but also to freedom of action and to the grounds for religious belief. The first and the last sections of the Enquiry also explain better than before the distinctive character and importance of ‘scepticism’ as Hume understands it.

Keywords: Hume; Enquiry; natural world; freedom; religious belief; scepticism; Enlightenment

Chapter.  6348 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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