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How to Read Hume by Simon Blackburn


How to Read Hume by Simon Blackburn

'Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man' - David Hume. David Hume is generally recognized as the United Kingdom's greatest philosopher, as well as a notable historian and essayist, and a central figure of the Enlightenment. Yet his work is delicately poised between scepticism and naturalism, between despair at the limited powers of the mind and optimism at the progress we can make by understanding it. This difficult balancing act has given rise to a multitude of different interpretations: reading Hume has never been free of controversy. In this new approach to his writings, Simon Blackburn describes how Hume can be placed as one of the earliest, and most successful, evolutionary psychologists, weaving plausible natural accounts of the way we should think of ourselves, and of how we have come to be what we are.

About the Author

Simon Blackburn is the Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of numerous books bringing philosophy into public notice, including Think, Being Good, Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed, and Plato's Republic.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2008


Simon Blackburn

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Granta Books


128 pages


Western philosophy: c 1600 to c 1900



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