A Treatise of Human Nature, by David Hume

http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/h/hume/david/h92t/


So, because I cannot sleep without my lover by my side, I finally got around to reading Hume’s Treatise On Human Nature tonight.

I’m diving into Hume, and so far, it looks sound and good. Hume is a thinker of enormous stature, not to mention girth, and yet he is frequently overlooked, most likely since he represents the waning of British empiricism.

But it’s necessary to witness, by reading, the rubble to which he reduces metaphysics and pure reason, in order to understand the grand gesture performed by Kant in the first Critique. Hume reconstructs entirely the human as principally a feeling, rather than a thinking creature. Back in college, I’ve done all the superficial reading of philosophy in the 17th and 18th century, but I’ve never really investigated the interrogation of life and causality on the most abstract level, at least not from the empiricist perspective. Back then, I only got as far as Locke.

Anyhow, Hume, entering this fray, hopes to establish the proper limits of empirical inquiry, to determine which sort of pronouncement it is proper for pure observation lawfully to make, and at which points, empiricism (note the link to Wittgenstein) must remain silent. So follows the entire analysis (not to say annihilation) of the concept of causality.

I’m not done reading this yet. It’s all quite overwhelming, but I’m thumbing this up anyway because so far, Hume is quite sound.

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