Abstract and Keywords
This summary account of Hume’s life and works challenges the usual way of telling the story of Hume’s career. It is generally believed that what Hume most wanted to be was a philosopher and that Hume turned to politics and history because that desire was frustrated, principally by the reputation for atheism he had acquired as a result of his writings on religion. The author argues that, from the beginning, Hume was as interested in politics as he was in philosophy; that a career as an independent man of letters, and not as a professional philosopher, was what he most wanted; and that that career was a success, with the History of England its triumphant culmination. Hume’s religious skepticism was no obstacle to his living the life that he most wanted to live, the life of a sophisticated and widely respected citizen of the European republic of letters.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.