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Essays and Treatises on Philosophical Subjects 

Essays and Treatises on Philosophical Subjects

Written by: David Hume
Edited by: Lorne Falkenstein & Neil McArthur

Series: Broadview Editions

Publication Date: May 06, 2013
510pp • Paperback / PDF / ePub
ISBN: 9781551118048 / 1551118041

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This is the first edition in over a century to present David Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Dissertation on the Passions, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, and Natural History of Religion in the format he intended: collected together in a single volume. Hume has suffered a fate unusual among great philosophers. His principal philosophical work is no longer published in the form in which he intended it to be read. It has been divided into separate parts, only some of which continue to be published. This volume repairs that neglect by presenting the four pieces that Hume in later life desired to "alone be regarded as containing [his] philosophical sentiments and principles" in the format he preferred, as a single volume with an organization that parallels that of his early Treatise of Human Nature

This edition's introduction comments on the historical origins and evolution of the four parts and draws attention to how they mutually inform and support one another. The text is based on the first (1758) edition of Hume's Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. Notes advise the reader of the changes made in the final (1777) edition. Excerpts from the work of some of Hume's most important contemporary critics are included as appendices. Hume's abundant references to ancient historians, geographers, poets, and philosophers—many of them now quite obscure—are rendered accessible in this volume through extensive textual notes and a bibliography of online sources.


"Falkenstein and McArthur are to be commended for giving us a modern edition of the philosophical texts that Hume collected as the second volume of Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. We have for a very long time been working with these writings as self-standing pieces rather than collected within a single volume as Hume himself intended. Restoring these writings in this context is an excellent idea and it will be interesting to see the extent to which this restoration changes our view of Hume. In addition, I found the introductory material to be extremely illuminating as well as lucid. This is an excellent edition and an excellent addition to Hume scholarship." - Peter J.E. Kail, University of Oxford

"In bringing Hume's mature philosophical works together in one volume as he himself intended them to be read, this edition makes vivid the interconnections among his writings, and will help students appreciate the considerable systematic appeal of Hume's philosophy. This new edition will prove extremely useful for both scholars and students. The scholarly and bibliographic apparatus is excellent, and the magisterial introduction very effectively places Hume's writings in their proper biographical and philosophical context." - Thomas Holden, University of California, Santa Barbara

Lorne Falkenstein is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario. Neil McArthur is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba.

Academics please note that this is a title classified as having a restricted allocation of complimentary copies. While the availability of bound complimentary copies is restricted to desk copies only, electronic complimentary copies are readily available for those professors wishing to consider this title for possible course adoption. Should you choose to adopt the book after viewing an electronic copy we will be happy to provide a bound desk copy.

Table of Contents: [Back to Top]

Preface and Acknowledgements

Abbreviations and References


David Hume: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Texts

Front Matter from the 1758 and 1777 Editions of Hume's Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

A Dissertation on the Passions

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

The Natural History of Religion

Appendix A: From Richard Price, Four Dissertations (1768)

Appendix B: The Dissertation on the Passions and Treatise, Book 2

Appendix C: From Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)

Appendix D: From Henry Home, Lord Kames, Essays on the Principles of Morality and Natural Religion (1779)

Appendix E: From Thomas Reid, Essays on the Active Powers of Man (1788)

Appendix F: From Daniel MacQueen, Letters on Mr. Hume's History of Great Britain (1756)

Appendix G: From William Warburton, Remarks on Mr. David Hume's Essay on the Natural History of Religion (1757)

Select Bibliography

Hume's Index to ETSS2

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Essays and Treatises on Philosophical Subjects

2013 • 510pp • Paperback • 9781551118048 / 1551118041

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Broadview Press acknowledges the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, and also acknowledges the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Freehand Books, an imprint of Broadview, acknowledges the support of the Canadian Council of the Arts.