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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » David Hume (1711-1776)

English historian, philosopher, economist. In the "Treatise of Human Nature" (1748) developed the doctrine of sense experience (knowledge source) as a stream of "impressions", the causes of which are incomprehensible. Problem of the relationship of life and spirit thought unsolvable. Denied the objective nature of causality and the concept of substance. Developed the theory of association of ideas. Hume's doctrine - one of the sources of the philosophy of Kant, and neo-positivism.

David Hume was born in 1711 in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, the son of a poor nobleman, to practice law. Related little David hoped that he would become a lawyer, but as a teenager, he told them that he felt a profound aversion to any lesson, but philosophy and literature. However, Hume's father was not able to give his son a higher education. And although David began attending the University of Edinburgh, he soon had to go to Bristol to try their hand at commerce. But in this field, he failed, and the mother of Hume, which after the death of her husband went to all the worries about her son, did not interfere with his trip to France, where he went in 1734 to get an education.

David lived there for three years, of which a significant portion held at the Jesuit College of La Fleche, where he once studied Descartes. It is curious that both the pupil of the Jesuits were the main exponents of the principle of doubt in the new philosophy. In France, Hume wrote "Treatise of Human Nature," which consisted of three books, which was then published in London in 1738-1740, respectively. In the first book dealt with problems in the theory of knowledge, in the second - the psychology of human emotions, and the third - the problem of moral theory.

Among the main conclusions of his philosophy Hume came relatively early - at the age of 25. Generally speaking, all proper philosophical works, except popular essays were written up to 40 years, after which he devoted himself to history and education. In his treatise almost no precise reference to domestic authors, because it was written away from the big British libraries, although Latin Library at the Jesuit College in La Fleche was quite large. Proceedings Cicero Bayle, Montaigne, Bacon, Locke, Newton, and Berkeley, as well as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson and other English moralists that Hume studied in his youth, have had a very big impact. But Hume became quite original philosopher.

Amazingly early matured and seemed to contemporaries in many countries Hume's philosophy today is recognized as part of the development of British empiricism (a direction that considers sensory experience only source of knowledge) from Francis Bacon to the positivists, who believe knowledge is only the combined effect of the special sciences, research and philosophical issues In their opinion, do not need.

Hume, giving crucial data senses knowledge of the reality, stopped in doubt before the question of the existence of reality, because they do not believe in their substantive character. "Our thought ... - wrote Hume - limited to a very narrow limits, and all the creative power of the mind is reduced to the ability to connect, move, enlarge or reduce the material gives us a sense and experience." This attests to the empirical character of his philosophy.

Hume, like its predecessors empiricists argued that the principles of which knowledge is constructed, are not innate, and empirical character, because derived from experience. However, it is not only against a priori assumptions, innate ideas, but does not believe the senses. In other words, Hume first reduces all knowledge of the world to the knowledge of an experienced and then psychologizes his doubting the objectivity of the content of sensory impressions. In the "Treatise of Human Nature," Hume writes that "skeptic continues to reason and believe, although claims that it can not protect your mind with reason, for the same reasons, he must accept the principle of the existence of bodies, although not can claim to be the proof of its truth by what whatever arguments ... "

The reading public does not understand the original work of Hume and would not accept him. In his autobiography, he wrote six months before his death, Hume expressed it this way: "There is hardly anyone's literary debut was less successful than my" Treatise of Human Nature. " He went out of print stillborn, not having received the honor even to excite a murmur among the zealots. But, unlike the cheerful nature and ardent temperament, I soon recovered from this blow, and with great zeal continued my studies in the village. "

Main philosophical essay Hume was written, perhaps not so difficult to understand the language, but it was not easy to understand the overall structure of the work. "Treatise" consisted of vaguely related to each other individual essays, and reading it took a certain mental effort. In addition, there were rumors that the author of these unreadable tomes atheist. The latter circumstance is not subsequently prevented Hume times to get a teaching position at the university - as in his native Edinburgh, where he was in 1744 vainly hoped to occupy the chair of ethics and philosophy, air, and in Glasgow, where he taught Hutcheson.

In the early 1740s, Hume tried to popularize the ideas of his main work. He made his "Short description ...", but this article is not caused interest of the reading public. But Hume at this time established contacts with the most important representatives of the Scottish spiritual culture. Especially important for the further had his correspondence with moralist F. Hutcheson and close friendship with the future of the famous economist Adam Smith, who met with Hume, while still a 17-year old student.

In the years 1741-1742 Hume published a book entitled "Moral and political essays (essay)." It was a collection of thoughts about a wide range of socio-political problems and finally brought Hume fame and success.

Hume established fame writer, able in an accessible form to handle complicated but vital problems.

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