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David Hume, conceived David Home, was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist. He is most popular today for his profoundly compelling arrangement of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism.
See the fact file below for more information on the David Hume or alternatively, you can download our 20-page David Hume worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- David Hume was born on May 7, 1711, in the apartment on the northside of Lawnmarket in Edinburgh. His father, Joseph Home, died when he was a newborn child, leaving him and his two siblings under the watchful eye of his mother, Katherine (née Falconer).
- In 1734, Hume changed the spelling of his name, since his surname “Home” (articulated “Hume”) was not known in England.
- Hume never married and lived mostly at his family home at Chirnside in Berwickshire, which had a place with the family since the sixteenth century.
- As a youngster, he had little money to survive on – his family was middle class, and his father left them little money. So he needed to make a living.
- Hume attended the University of Edinburgh with his older brother from the age of 12 and left at 14 or 15 without a degree.
- Hume’s family thought that he would consider law but he found it intolerable and preferred to read classical texts, specifically Cicero.
- At the age of 18, after following a strict program in reading and reflection, he’d opened up “A new scene of thought”. The intensity of developing his philosophical vision resulted in him having a nervous breakdown in 1729. It took him a few years to recover.
- Despite having noble ancestry, Hume became a merchant’s assistant at the age of 25 and had to leave Scotland to go to France. There, he visited with the Jesuits of the College of La Flèche.
- He labored for four years at his first major work, A Treatise of Human Nature, subtitled “Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects.” He finished it in 1738 at 28 years old. Although many academics today believe the treatise to be Hume’s most significant work and one of the most significant books in Western thought, British experts at the time didn’t concur, criticizing it as “conceptual and unintelligible.”
- Hume tried improving his bigger work,Treatise, to be increasingly intelligible. He published “An abstract of a book of lately published” as a synopsis of the main doctrines of the treatise, without revealing its authorship. Although there has been some scholastic theory concerning who really composed this pamphlet, it is generally viewed as Hume’s creation.
- Hume was only 23 years old when he began this work, and it is currently viewed as one of the most significant in the history of Western philosophy.
- After the publication of Essays Moral and Political in 1741, which is remembered for the later version titled Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, Hume applied for the Chair of Pneumatics and Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. However, because Edinburgh priests suggested he was an atheist and requested the town council not choose Hume, the position went to William Cleghorn.
- Hume achieved scholarly accomplishment in the course of his life as an essayist and a librarian at the University of Edinburgh, which gave him access to research material. Hume’s tenure there resulted in him writing the massive six-volume The History of England between 1740 and 1776, which was a huge success and the standard for the history of England in its day.
- For more than sixty years, Hume was the predominant translator of English history.
- In the last paragraph of his work, “My Own Life”, Hume describes what he calls “my love for literary fame, my ruling passion”. He believed his two works, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, as his greatest literary and philosophical accomplishments.
- In 1763, Hume went with the Earl of Hertford to Paris to work at the embassy. Hume soon became close with the leading French philosophers and started an enduring fellowship with the Comtesse de Boufflers.
- When Hume came back to England in 1766, he was accompanied by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who was attempting to escape perceived persecution. Their companionship didn’t last, as Rousseau soon wrote to friends that Hume was plotting against him. This caused Hume to distance himself.
- In 1775, Hume was diagnosed with a form of abdominal cancer that would prove fatal. In a tribute to the great philosopher, his dear companion Adam Smith stated, “Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime, and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man, as perhaps the nature of human frailty will admit.”
- In the last year of his life, Hume composed an incredibly short autobiographical essay entitled My Own Life that spanned around 5 pages. It contains many interesting decisions and beliefs that have made Hume a compelling philosopher.
- Hume’s works appear to be the most important philosophies to have been written in English, as seen in historical perspective. An outline of a portion of Hume’s most persuasive works in theory include the following:
- The problem of causation
- The problem of induction
- The Bundle theory of the self
- Practical reason: instrumentalism and nihilism
- Moral anti-realism and motivation
- Free will versus determinism
- The is-ought problem
- The problem of miracles
- The design argument
- Conservatism and political theory
David Hume Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the David Hume across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use David Hume worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about David Hume, conceived David Home, who was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist. He is most popular today for his profoundly compelling arrangement of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- David Hume Facts
- Hume’s Biography
- British Empiricism
- Hume’s Passion
- Unjumble the Words
- Four Aspects
- Significant Works
- My Own Life
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