ISBN : 9780199549900
'Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.'
Thus ends David Hume's Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, the definitive statement of the greatest philosopher in the English language. His arguments in support of reasoning from experience, and against the 'sophistry and illusion' of religiously inspired philosophical fantasies, caused controversy in the eighteenth century and are strikingly relevant today, when faith and science continue to clash.
The Enquiry considers the origin and processes of human thought, reaching the stark conclusion that we can have no ultimate understanding of the physical world, or indeed our own minds. In either sphere we must depend on instinctive learning from experience, recognizing our animal nature and the limits of reason. Hume's calm and open-minded scepticism thus aims to provide a new basis for science, liberating us from the 'superstition' of false metaphysics and religion. His Enquiry remains one of the best introductions to the study of philosophy, and this edition places it in its historical and philosophical context.
1. From Ancient to Modern Cosmology
2. From aristotelian to Cartesian Intelligibility
3. Corpuscularianism, Locke, and Newton
4. Free Will, and the angers of Infielity
5. God's Design, and Human Reason
6. Inertness, Malebranche, and Berkeley
8. Section I: The Aims of the Enquiry
9. Section II and III: The Origin and Association of Ideas
10. Section IV: Hume's Fork
11. Secction IV and V: The Basis of Factual Reasoning
12. Section VI: 'Of Probability'
13. Section VII: 'Of the Idea of Necessary Connexion'
14. Secction VIII: 'Of Liberty and Necessity'
15. Section IX: 'Of the Reason of Animals'
16. Section X: 'Of Miracles'
17. Section XI: 'Of a Particular Provience, and of a Future State'
18. Section XII: 'Of the Academical or Sceptical Philosophy'
Note on the Text
A Chronology of David Hume
AN ENQUIRY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING
I. Of the different Species of Philosophy
II: Of the Origin of Ideas
III. Of the Asociation of Ideas