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The Cambridge Companion to Hume's Treatise

Part of Cambridge Companions to Philosophy

Annemarie Butler, Amélie Oksenberg Rorty, Lorne Falkenstein, Don Garrett, David Owen, Kenneth P. Winkler, Jacqueline Taylor, Terence Penelhum, Paul Russell, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, Donald C. Ainslie, Tito Magri, Kate Abramson
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  • Date Published: January 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521529143


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About the Authors
  • Revered for his contributions to empiricism, skepticism and ethics, David Hume remains one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. His first and broadest work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), comprises three volumes, concerning the understanding, the passions and morals. He develops a naturalist and empiricist program, illustrating that the mind operates through the association of impressions and ideas. This Companion features essays by leading scholars that evaluate the philosophical content of the arguments in Hume's Treatise while considering their historical context. The authors examine Hume's distinctive views on causation, motivation, free will, moral evaluation and the origins of justice, which continue to influence present-day philosophical debate. This collection will prove a valuable resource for students and scholars exploring Hume, British empiricism and modern philosophy.

    • Features fourteen critical essays from leading Hume scholars
    • Can function as a supplement for a variety of advanced undergraduate and graduate courses
    • Includes a comprehensive index of passages cited
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This eagerly awaited volume is excellent and an indispensable aid to scholar and student alike in the study of Hume's Treatise.' Eric Schliesser, Universiteit Gent, Belgium

    'This volume offers a fresh look at Hume's endlessly engaging Treatise of Human Nature by some of today's best scholars. Noteworthy for its selective coverage of the entire book, and for its clarity and accessibility, the volume will appeal to scholars and students alike.' Alison Simmons, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'Ainslie and Butler have assembled a superb collection of articles on Hume's masterwork, written by top scholars in the field and, taken together, covering all of the major topics that Hume addressed in his work. The resulting volume is both an essential reference work for students and a major contribution to Hume studies.' Edwin McCann, University of Southern California

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521529143
    • length: 416 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Hume's early biography and A Treatise of Human Nature Annemarie Butler
    2. From impressions to justice and the virtues: the structure of Hume's Treatise Amélie Oksenberg Rorty
    3. The ideas of space and time and spatial and temporal ideas in Treatise 1.2 Lorne Falkenstein
    4. Hume's theory of causation: inference, judgment, and the causal sense Don Garrett
    5. Scepticism with regard to reason David Owen
    6. Hume on scepticism and the senses Kenneth P. Winkler
    7. The problem of believing in yourself: Hume's doubts about personal identity Annemarie Butler
    8. Sympathy, self, and others Jacqueline Taylor
    9. The indirect passions, myself, and others Terence Penelhum
    10. 'Hume's lengthy digression': free will in the Treatise Paul Russell
    11. Hume on reason and passion Nicholas L. Sturgeon
    12. Hume and moral motivation Donald C. Ainslie
    13. Hume's justice Tito Magri
    14. What's so 'natural' about Hume's natural virtues? Kate Abramson.

  • Editors

    Donald C. Ainslie, University of Toronto
    Donald C. Ainslie is the Principal of University College and Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has published articles in numerous journals, including Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, the Journal of the History of Philosophy, the Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Hume Studies and Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics.

    Annemarie Butler, Iowa State University
    Annemarie Butler is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University and book review editor for Hume Studies. Her articles have appeared in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, History of Philosophy Quarterly, the Journal of Scottish Philosophy, Hume Studies and Dialogue.


    Annemarie Butler, Amélie Oksenberg Rorty, Lorne Falkenstein, Don Garrett, David Owen, Kenneth P. Winkler, Jacqueline Taylor, Terence Penelhum, Paul Russell, Nicholas L. Sturgeon, Donald C. Ainslie, Tito Magri, Kate Abramson

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