By David Fate Norton, Mary J. Norton
David and Mary Norton current the definitive scholarly version of 1 of the best philosophical works ever written. this primary quantity includes the severe textual content of David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature (1739/40), through the quick Abstract (1740) within which Hume set out the major arguments of the bigger paintings; the quantity concludes with A Letter from a Gentleman to his buddy in Edinburgh (1745), Hume's defence of the Treatise while it used to be less than assault from ministers looking to hinder Hume's appointment as Professor of ethical Philosophy on the college of Edinburgh.
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Extra resources for David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature: Volume 1: Texts
To remove this difﬁculty we must have recourse to the foregoing explication of abstract ideas. ’Tis certain that the mind wou’d never have dream’d of distinguishing a ﬁgure from the body ﬁgur’d, as being in reality neither distinguishable, nor different, nor separable; did it not observe, that even in this simplicity there might be contain’d many different resemblances and relations. 7 A Treatise of Human Nature a globe of white marble is presented, we receive only the impression of a white colour dispos’d in a certain form, nor are we able to separate and distinguish the colour from the form.
Tis evident, that in forming most of our general ideas, if not all of them, we abstract from every particular degree of quantity and quality, and that an object ceases not to be of any particular species on account of every small alteration in its extension, duration and other properties. It may therefore be thought, that here is a plain dilemma, that decides concerning the nature of those abstract ideas, which have afforded so much speculation to philosophers. The abstract idea of a man represents men of all sizes and all qualities; which ’tis concluded it cannot do, but either by representing at once all possible sizes and all possible qualities, or by representing no particular one at all.
For as that action or motion is nothing but the object itself, consider’d in a certain light, and as the object continues the same in all its different situations, ’tis easy to imagine how such an inﬂuence of objects upon one another may connect them in the imagination. We may carry this farther, and remark, not only that two objects are connected by the relation of cause and effect, when the one produces a motion or any action in the other, but also when it has a power of producing it. 5 6 7 A Treatise of Human Nature men inﬂuence each other in society, and are plac’d in the ties of government and subordination.