We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

A Treatise of Human Nature

David Hume
Edited by David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton

Publication Date - February 2000

ISBN: 9780198751724

626 pages

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.99

Part of the Oxford Philosophical Texts series


The Oxford Philosophical Texts series consists of truly practical and accessible guides to major philosophical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world up to modern times. Each book opens with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist which covers the philosopher's life, work, and influence. Endnotes, a full bibliography, guides to further reading, and an index are also included. The series aims to build a definitive corpus of key texts in the Western philosophical tradition, forming a reliable and enduring resource for students and teachers alike.
David Hume's comprehensive attempt to base philosophy on a new, observationally grounded study of human nature is one of the most important texts in Western philosophy. It is also the focal point of current attempts to understand 18th-century philosophy The Treatise first explains how we form such concepts as cause and effect, external existence, and personal identity, and how we create compelling but unverifiable beliefs in the entities represented by these concepts. It then offers a novel account of the passions, explains freedom and necessity as they apply to human choices and actions, and concludes with a detailed explanation of how we distinguish between virtue and vice. The volume features Hume's own abstract of the Treatise, a substantial introduction that explains the aims of the Treatise as a whole and of each of its ten parts, a comprehensive index, and suggestions for further reading.

About the Author(s)

David Norton is Macdonald Professor of Moral Philosophy and Co-director of the Hume Society/National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on the Philosophy of David Hume.

Mary J. Norton is an independent scholar

Table of Contents

    How to Use this Book
    List of Abbreviations
    Editor's Introduction
    Hume's Early years and Education
    A Treatise of Human Nature
    Book 1: Of the Understanding
    Book 1 part 1: The Elements of the Mental World
    Book 1 Part 2: The Ideas of Space and Time
    Book 1 Part 3: Knowledge, Probability, Belief, and Causation
    Book 1 Part 4: Forms of Scepticism
    Book 2: Of the passions
    Book 2 Part 1: The Indirect Passions of Pride and Humility
    Book 2 Part 2: The Indirect Passions of Love and Hatred
    Book 2 part 3: The Direct Passions and the Will
    Book 3: Of Morals
    Book 3 Part 1: The Source of Moral Distinctions
    Book 3 Part 2: The Artificial Virtues
    Book 3 Part 3: Natural Virtues and Natural Abilities
    The Abstract and the Early Reception of the Treatise
    Supplementary Reading
    A Note on the Texts of this Edition
    Book 1: Of the Understanding
    Part 1: Of ideas, their origin, composition, connexion, abstraction, etc.
    Sect. 1: Of the origin of our ideas
    Sect. 2: Division of the subject
    Sect. 3: Of the ideas of the memory and imagination
    Sect. 4: Of the connexion of association of ideas
    Sect. 5. Of relations
    Sect. 6 Of modes and substances
    Sect. 7: Of abstract ideas
    Part 2: Of ideas of space and time
    Sect. 1: Of the infinite divisibility of our ideas of space and time
    Sect. 2: Of the infinite divisibility of space and time
    Sect. 3. Of the other qualities of our ideas of space and time
    Sect. 4. Objections answered
    Sect. 5: The same subject continued
    Sect. 6: Of the idea of existence and of external existence
    Part 3: of knowledge and probability
    Sect. 1: Of knowledge
    Sect. 2. Of probability; and of the idea of cause and effect
    Sect. 3: Why a cause is always necessary
    Sect. 4: Of the component parts of our reasonings concerning cause and effect
    Sect. 5: Of the impressions of the senses and memory
    Section. 6: Of the inference from the impression to the idea
    Sect. 7: Of the nature of the idea or belief
    Sect. 8: Of the causes of belief
    Sect. 9: Of the effects of other relations and other habits
    Sect 10. Of the influence of belief
    Sect. 11: Of the probability of chances
    Sect. 12: Of the probability of causes
    Sect. 13: Of unphilosophical probability
    Sect. 14: Of the idea of necessary connexion
    Sect. 15: Rules by which to judge of causes and effects
    Sect. 16: Of the reason of animals
    Part 4: Of the sceptical and other systems of philosophy
    Sect. 1: Of scepticism with regard to reason
    Sect. 2: Of scepticism with regard to the senses
    Sect. 3. Of the ancient philosophy
    Sect 4. Of the modern philosophy
    Sect. 5: Of the immateriality of the soul
    Sect. 6: Of personal identity
    Sect. 7: Conclusion of this book
    Book 2: Of the Passions
    Part 1: Of pride and humility
    Sect. 1: Division of the subject
    Sect. 2: Of pride and humility; their objects and causes
    Sect. 3: Whence these objects and causes are derived
    Sect. 4: Of the relations of impressions and ideas
    Sect. 5: Of the influence of these relations on pride and humility
    Sect. 6: Limitations of this system
    Sect. 7: Of vice and virtue
    Sect. 8: Of beauty and deformity
    Sect. 9: Of external advantages and disadvantages
    Sect. 10: Of property and riches
    Sect. 11: Of the love of fame
    Sect. 12: Of the pride and humility of animals
    Part 2: Of love and hatred
    Sect. 1: Of the objects and causes of love and hatred
    Sect. 2: Experiments to confirm this system
    Sect. 3: Difficulties solved
    Sect. 4: Of the love of relations
    Sect. 5: Of our esteem for the rich and powerful
    Sect 6: Of benevolence and anger
    Sect. 7: Of compassion
    Sect. 8: Of malice and envy
    Sect. 9: Of the mixture of benevolence and anger with compassion and malice
    Sect. 10. Of respect and contempt
    Sect. 11: Of the amorous passion, or love betwixt the sexes
    Sect. 12: Of the love and hatred of animals
    Part 3: Of the will and direct passions
    Sect. 1: Of liberty and necessity
    Sect. 2: The same subject continued
    Sect. 3: Of the influencing motives of the will
    Sect. 4: Of the causes of the violent passions
    Sect. 5: Of the effects of custom
    Sect. Of the influence of the imagination on passions
    Sect. 7: Of contiguity and distance in space and time
    Sect. 8: The same subject continued
    Sect. 9: Of the direct passions
    Sect. 10: Of curiosity, or the love of truth
    Book 3: Of Morals
    Part 1: Of virtue and vice in general
    Sect. 1: Moral distinctions not derived from reason
    Sect. 2: Moral distinctions derived from a moral sense
    Part 2: Of justice and injustice
    Sect. 1: Justice, whether a natural or artificial virtue?
    Sect. 2: Of the origin of justice and property
    Sect. 3: Of the rules, which determine property
    Sect. 4: Of the transference of property by consent
    Sect. 5: Of the obligation of promises
    Sect. 6: Some farther reflections concerning justice and injustice
    Sect. 7: Of the origin of government
    Sect. 8: Of the source of allegiance
    Sect. 9: Of the measures of allegiance
    Sect. 10: Of the objects of allegiance
    Sect. 11: Of the laws of nations
    Sect. 12: Of chastity and modesty
    Part 3: Of the other virtues and vices
    Sect. 1: Of the origin of the natural virtues and vices
    Sect. 2: Of greatness of mind
    Sect. 3. Of goodness and benevolence
    Sect. 4: Of natural abilities
    Sect. 5: Some farther reflections concerning the natural virtues
    Sect. 6: Conclusion of this book
    An Abstract of ... A Treatise of Human Nature
    Editors' Annotations
    Annotations to the Treatise
    Annotations to the Abstract