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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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Essays Moral and Political

Essays Moral and Political

Chapter:
(p.134) Chapter 11 Essays Moral and Political
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0011

In 1739 and 1740, David Hume was not devoting himself exclusively to his first publication, but was actively laying plans to reach a more popular audience. Within a few months after his return to Ninewells and while awaiting the verdict of the learned world on the Treatise, he began exchanging newly composed papers with Henry Home. One feature always insisted on by Hume, as distinguished from most other writers in a period of intense political feeling, was that politics was to be approached from the point of view of a non-partisan philosopher. The original design of periodical essays, however, was shortly dropped, ‘partly from Laziness, partly from Want of Leisure’; and the collected items were brought out at Edinburgh early in 1741 as a small duodecimo volume of Essays Moral and Political. The Essays Moral and Political, therefore, are to be regarded as a literary experiment towards the possible recasting of the philosophy of the ill-fated Treatise.

Keywords:   David Hume, Ninewells, learned world, Treatise, Henry Home, politics, Essays

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