By A. J. Ayer
Hume's "naturalist" method of a wide selection of philosophical themes ended in hugely unique theories approximately belief, self-identity, causation, morality, politics, and faith, all of that are mentioned during this stimulating creation by means of A.J. Ayer, himself one of many 20th century's most crucial philosophers. Ayer additionally provides an account of Hume's interesting lifestyles and personality, and contains beneficiant quotations from Hume's lucid and infrequently witty writings.
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Extra resources for Hume: A Very Short Introduction
From the instant of his arrival in Paris Hume loved the main outstanding social luck. As Lytton Strachey positioned it, ‘he was once ﬂattered by way of princes, worshipped by means of ﬁne girls, and handled as an oracle by means of the philosophes’. His closest associates one of the philosophes have been the Hume Encyclopédistes Diderot and d’Alembert, and the materialist Baron d’Holbach. there's a tale of his eating at Holbach’s and asserting that he had by no means met an atheist, whereupon Holbach advised him that of the folks current, ﬁfteen have been atheists and the opposite 3 had now not made up their minds. one of the ﬁne women, his leader admirer used to be the Contesse de Boufﬂers, who had made herself recognized to him through letter in 1761. Fourteen years more youthful than Hume, she was once the mistress of the Prince de Conti, whom she had useless hopes of marrying whilst her husband died. notwithstanding she by no means overpassed this first goal, she seems to be for a time to were in love with Hume, and there's greater facts from their correspondence that he was once in love along with her. although they didn't meet back after Hume left Paris in January 1766, they endured for the following ten years to write down to each other. His final letter to her, commiserating together with her at the loss of life of the Prince de Conti and asserting of himself ‘I see dying technique progressively, with none nervousness or remorse. I salute you with nice affection and regard, for the final time’, used to be written inside every week of his personal demise. whilst Hume left Paris he took Jean-Jacques Rousseau with him. sixteen 4. Depiction of Voltaire at a dinner attended via fellow intellectuals d’Alembert, Marmontel, Diderot, los angeles Harpe, Condorcet, Maury, and Father Adam. in the course of his time in Paris following his appointment as secretary to the British Ambassador in 1763, Hume used to be ‘treated as an oracle via the philosophes’, and used to be relatively shut associates with the Encyclopédistes Diderot and d’Alembert. Rousseau have been residing in Switzerland, yet his heterodox spiritual perspectives had made him enemies there, nor may perhaps he depend on being undisturbed in France. Hume used to be persuaded, often by means of their universal pal Madame de Verdelin, to take Rousseau less than his security, notwithstanding warned through the philosophes that Rousseau was once to not be relied on. Rousseau’s ‘gouvernante’, the illiterate Thérèse Le Vasseur, used to be to keep on with, escorted via Boswell, whom she seduced at the approach. At ﬁrst all went good. Hume and Rousseau loved and renowned each other. there has been a few hassle in ﬁnding a spot the place Rousseau may consent to stay, yet he ﬁnally accredited a suggestion from Richard Davenport, a wealthy kingdom gentleman, of a home in Staffordshire at a nominal lease. Hume additionally prepared for him to obtain a suggestion of a pension of £200 from King George III. yet then Rousseau’s paranoia broke out. Horace Walpole had written a squib opposed to him, which Rousseau attributed to Hume. There were jokes approximately him within the English press. Thérèse Hume made mischief. Rousseau turned confident that Hume had joined with the philosophes in a conspiracy opposed to him. He refused the King’s pension, turned suspicious of Mr Davenport, and wrote sour letters to his neighbors in France, to the English newspapers, and to Hume himself.