A Treatise of Human Nature is the first work ever published by David Hume, a man who revolutionized our understanding of philosophy. Hume was an advocate of the skeptical school of philosophy and a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. He looks at the nature of human experience and cognition, showing that philosophy and reason can only be reflections of our nature. The naturalistic science of man that Hume expresses in this work forms the foundation for all later philosophical inquiry. Kant gave Hume credit for "awakening [him] from his dogmatic slumber". With this influence alone, Hume initiated the clearest critique of reason that Western civilization has produced in the history of philosophy.
Hume's work formed the psychological foundation for modern psychology. He showed the limits and proper application of reason in human life. He also examined the passions and morality, showing how they arise in human experience and how they are connected to both reason and action. In essence, A Treatise of Human Nature is a thorough, well-considered, and inspired examination of human psychology and the implications that the structure of our thought and experience has on our knowledge.
The full narration of Hume's text is preceded by a summary, which includes a biography, background information on the work, and an overview of the material covered.
The summary also includes a synopsis and analysis of the text as well as an examination of its historical context, its social impact, and the criticisms it evoked. This work is suitable for students of philosophy or psychology or for anyone interested in coming to a deeper understanding of the nature of the mind.
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