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The first thematically arranged collection of Hume's political writings, this new work brings together substantive selections from A Treatise on Human Nature, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, and Essays: Moral, Political and Literary, with an interpretive introduction placing Hume in the context of contemporary debates between liberalism and its critics and between contextual and universal approaches.
In 1741, Hume published his Essays, Moral and Political, making a lasting impact on political, economic and aesthetic theory. This collection gathers together over seventy important early responses to Hume's moral theory and Essays, including articles by Adam Smith, James Beattie, Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Malthus and Thomas Reid.
A fully annotated edition of Hume's most important political essays.
Hume’s Political Discourses (1752) won immediate acclaim and positioned him as an authoritative figure on the subject of political economy. This volume of thirteen new essays definitively establishes the central place of political economy in Hume’s intellectual endeavor, as well as the profound and far-reaching influence of his theories on Enlightenment discourse and practice. A major strength of this collection is that the contributors come from a diverse set of fields – philosophy, economics, political science, history and literature. This promotes a comprehensive reading of Hume’s political economy, taking into account his entire set of writings and correspondence, in a way that captures his polymathic genius. Hume’s analyses of trade and commerce not only delve into the institutions of money and markets, but also human agency, the role of reason and the passions, manners and social mores. Hume sought general principles but also concrete applications, whether he grappled with the problem of economic development (Scotland and Ireland), with the debates on luxury consumption (France), or with the mounting public debt (England). This book is a key resource for students and researchers in the areas of economic and political philosophy, history of economic and political theory, and the history of ideas.
John Locke's Second Treatise of Government' (c1681) is perhaps the key founding liberal text. A Letter Concerning Toleration', written in 1685 (a year when a Catholic monarch came to the throne of England and Louis XVI unleashed a reign of terror against Protestants in France), is a classic defence of religious freedom. Yet many of Locke's other writings -- not least the Constitutions of Carolina', which he helped draft -- are almost defiantly anti-liberal in outlook. This comprehensive collection brings together the main published works (excluding polemical attacks on other people's views) with the most important surviving evidence from among Locke's papers relating to his political philosophy. David Wootton's wide-ranging and scholarly Introduction sets the writings in the context of their time, examines Locke's developing ideas and unorthodox Christianity, and analyses his main arguments. The result is the first fully rounded picture of Locke's political thought in his own words.
"David Hume's Political Theory" brings together Hume's diverse writings on law and government, collected and examined with a view to revealing the philosopher's coherent and persuasive theory of politics.
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A compact and accessible edition of Hume’s political and moral writings with essays by a distinguished set of contributors A key figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume was a major influence on thinkers ranging from Kant and Schopenhauer to Einstein and Popper, and his writings continue to be deeply relevant today. With four essays by leading Hume scholars exploring his complex intellectual legacy, this volume presents an overview of Hume’s moral, political, and social philosophy. Editors Angela Coventry and Andrew Valls bring together a selection of writings from Hume’s most important works, with contributors placing them in their appropriate context and offering a lively discourse on the relevance of Hume’s thought to contemporary subjects like reason’s dependence on emotion and the importance of social convention in political and economic behavior. Perfect for classroom use, this volume is an invaluable companion for anyone studying an important thinker who advanced the development of moral philosophy, economics, cognitive science, and many other fields of the Western tradition.
David Hume was not only a lover of political speculation, who dealt with politics in his most important works, but also an expert in military strategies and techniques; a friend and confidant of generals, ministers, parliamentarians, local administrators, dukes, and barons. He was also a talented diplomat, a moderate member of the British government, and an original interpreter of international affairs and war, which he experienced first-hand on the battlefield. Nevertheless, until today, Hume’s practical experience as statesman has not been adequately considered. In this book, in the first complete edition, the five writings concerning Hume’s involvement in the practice of policy are collected: A True Account of the Behaviour and Conduct of Archibald Stewart, late Lord Provost of Edinburgh (1748); Account of the Descent on the Coast of Brittany and the Causes of its Failure (1746); Journal of the British Embassy to the Courts of Vienna and Turin (1748); Dispatches of a British Diplomat at Paris (1764-65); and Correspondence of an Under-Secretary of State (1767-68).
This is a study of Hume's political thought based on a survey of all his writings in their original and revised versions, with full reference to the works of predecessors and contemporaries, including journalists, pamphleteers and historians. Hume's political thinking is presented in its historical context as an innovative, 'philosophical', empirically based system of politics for a radical post-revolutionary age, and a political education for parochial, backward-looking party men.
Originally published in 1955, Eugene Rotwein's collection of David Hume's economic writings has become the criterion by which to measure studies of Hume's thinking on economics. Rotwein, in his extended introduction, masterfully examines the connection between Hume's various writings—economic, political, philosophical, and historical. This edition is graced with a new introduction by Margaret Schabas. Hume belonged to the same generation as that of his friend and fellow countryman Adam Smith. Hume's writings on economics, however, unlike those of Smith's, comprise a relatively small portion of his published works. They consist of nine of twelve essays in his Political Discourses, first published in 1752, and a rather small number of passages in Hume's private letters to such correspondents as Smith, Montesquieu, Turgot, and Oswald. They were all brought together here for the first time in a single volume. These writings sought to clarify the various problems of Hume's society and suggest remedies for their solution. They are still relevant for the modern reader. Included are "Of Commerce," "Of Refinement in the Arts," "Of Money," "Of Interest," "Of the Balance of Trade," "Of the Jealousy of Trade," "Of Taxes," "Of Public Credit," and "Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations," as well as the relevant extracts from Hume's letters. Long unavailable, this edition will be welcomed by students of economics, philosophy, and the Scottish Enlightenment.
Although there are myriad references to Machiavelli's work within Hume's writing, a deeper connection between the two has never been fully explored. Whelan uncovers extensive Machiavellian dimensions throughout Hume's work, illustrating numerous parallels in both theorists' treatment of such issues as human nature, historical method, and political ethics. While at first such a comparison may be startling, Whelan argues convincingly that Hume's writing, commonly regarded as moderate and amiable, is indeed a locus of realist liberal political theory.
Many of the seemingly bland assertions and bald statements of the eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume contain more than the mind immediately perceives. Author John Valdimir Price contends that an understanding of Hume's writings cannot be separated from an understanding of his life. By examining the works of Hume, Price shows the way in which an ironic way of seeing events and an ironic mode of expression permeated Hume's life and writings. Price examines Hume's irony as it is exhibited in letters to his friends and in his writings concerned with morality, people, philosophy, politics, history, and above all religion. Hume's opinions on life in general are stated in works ranging from the Treatise of Human Nature and the Essays, Moral and Political, through the Enquiry concerning Human Understanding and the Enquiry concerning Principles of Morals, to the Dialogue and Four Dissertations of his maturity. Price feels that Hume's recognition of the ironic in life came about from his perception of the disproportion between human hopes and human accomplishments. The rhetorical consequences of applying reason to a duality in human nature creates the ironic mode. Hume conceived man's opposing tendencies as his willingness to commit himself orally to a concept, a dogma, an idea, or an ideology, and his unwillingness to involve himself in the logical and rhetorical implications of articulating those principles. Hume's use of the ironic mode in his writings provides him with a means of challenging certain dogmatic assumptions common to thought, particularly to traditional religious thought; it acts as a mask for his sceptical intentions, and it is an implied criticism of many ideas. In his political writing, Hume frequently implied that the question under argument was almost too ridiculous to deserve serious treatment. This tactic was effectively employed in the Account of Stewart, in which Hume came to the defense of a friend. In his most profitable venture, the History of England, Hume not only used irony to advantage, but developed a new approach to the writing of history—the use of narrative. He presented history as a series of more or less connected events, not as a series of "right" or "wrong" attitudes. The author believes that Hume's initial religious scepticism, combined with the predominant satiric-ironic mode in the literature of his time, led him to seek irony as a method of self expression. This scepticism, which permeated all of Hume's attitudes toward life, reached its most complete expression in the Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, which accepted reason as its guide, but also accepted experience as its master.
History has shown us that the power of political speech can be put to both positive and manipulative ends - while rhetoric is a powerful tool for those who seek to persuade others to adopt their views, it can also be employed to foment factionalism and undermine the very basis of a democratic society. In this unique study, Marc Hanvelt shows how eighteenth-century philosopher David Hume confronted questions about the negative moral and political effects of rhetoric, and how he differentiated between manipulative and non-manipulative political speech. Drawing on Hume's philosophical, historical, and popular writings, The Politics of Eloquence presents an understanding of rhetoric that can be properly ascribed to this important thinker, an understanding hitherto overlooked in the scholarly literature. Offering an original approach to thinking about political rhetoric – an essential element of democratic politics – Hanvelt makes important contributions to both Hume scholarship and to broader areas in political theory and philosophy.
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 Moral, Political, and Literary (1776 edition), which was even more popular than his famous Treatise of Human Nature, comprehensively shows how far he succeeded. From `Of Essay Writing' to `Of the Rise and Progress of the Arts and Sciences' Hume embraces a staggering range of social, cultural, political, demographic, and historical concerns. With the scope typical of the Scottish Enlightenment, he charts the state of civil society, manners, morals, and taste, and the development of political economy in the mid-eighteenth century. These essays represent not only those areas where Hume's arguments are revealingly typical of his day, but also where he is strikingly innovative in a period already famous for its great thinkers. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This is the first critical edition ever produced of Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary by David Hume, who is widely widely considered to be the most important British philosopher and an author celebrated for his moral, political, historical, and literary works. The editors' Introduction is primarily historical and written for advanced students and scholars from many disciplines. It is neither an orientation to Hume's philosophy nor an introduction aimed at philosophers. It is not an attempt to interpret Hume's text, but rather discusses the genesis, revision, and reception of the essays, which went into many editions at the author's hand. The annotations provide information about Hume' s sources, allusions, and citations, as well as background facts pertinent to an informed reading of the essays. The primary goal is to aid readers in their interpretations of the text. This edition also includes a detailed commentary on Hume's essay 'On the Populousness of Ancient Nations', which will be of special interest to ancient historians. The two volumes present a full critical edition, in every respect. They assemble a massive amount of historical and textual information never previously published. The editorial apparatus is comprehensive and includes extensive historical and bibliographical detail. The Clarendon Edition of the Works of David Hume as a whole is on the cutting-edge of editorial work in the history of great works in the eighteenth century. This edition will quickly become a necessary addition to the library of any scholar who works on David Hume's Essays.

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