Thursday, November 09, 2006

Writer's Corner: David Hume

Born in Lawnmarket, Edinburgh in 1711, David Hume is known as the most famous philosopher never to write in English. His essays are mainly known for there political nature, but Hume touched on several subjects over his lifetime.

One topic he focused on was his problem of causation, and relationship between events and ideas. How are events related, is there something connecting two events or is it simply a perceived connection? Hume believed the that Free Will and determinism are dependent on each other. Hume thought free will was incompatible with indeterminism. He discusses this in depth in "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" (1748)

Hume is also one of the most quoted philosophers when dealing with Intelligent Design. In his essay "The Natural History of Religion" (1757), Hume said this, "The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion". Keep in mind that this essay predates Darwin, but is nonetheless important.

Political, Hume was outspoken about the character of our leaders, and how it directly effects of the nature of the government. "It is a question with several, whether there be any essential difference between one form of government and another? and, whether every form may not become good or bad, according as it is well or ill administered?" from "That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science" (1742).

More from Hume
"Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary"
"Essay on Suicide"