This month lots of people are celebrating David Hume's 300th birthday, including our friends at The Philosopher's Zone and Philosophy Bites. Both have dedicated a series of podcasts to this most important thinker in our tradition and if you aren't a Humeophile or don't know that much about him, I'd definitely recommend checking out their special episodes. Did you know that Hume:
- Finished A Treatise of Human Nature when he was only 26? And was supported by his siblings while he wrote it?
- Might have modeled this magnum opus on Hobbes' work of the same name?
- Was the talk of European intellectual circles for this work but was disappointed at its reception?
- Struggled with his weight?
- Ultimately gave up philosophy to write history? And that his History of England was immensely popular and made him rich?
- Tried to help Rousseau and was treated dreadfully by that prick?
- Never explicitly confessed either atheism or belief in religion claiming no proof existed for either side?
We most all are familiar with his argument against the ability to experience causation and his explication of inductive reasoning, but like many great figures in the tradition, was also a character, admired and reviled and a polymath. Do yourself a favor and pay homage this month to Davie by checking out his works, listening the podcasts referenced above, visiting the Hume Society's page or watching this clever little video.
Tom McDonald says
No Google Doodle for Hume?
Seth Paskin says
I tried linking a photo, but Mark said it was broken. Let me see if I can fix that.
Daniel Horne says
Nice one, Seth. Here’s are a couple of clips from a BBC bio on Hume: