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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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The Dignity of Human Nature

The Dignity of Human Nature

Chapter:
(p.604) Chapter 40 The Dignity of Human Nature
Source:
The Life of David Hume
Author(s):

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.003.0040

Public interest in the death of David Hume centred around the philosophical tranquillity he had displayed in the last weeks of life. On the part of the narrowly pious there was evidenced a certain disappointment, on the one hand, that the philosopher had shown no signs of fear, and, on the other hand, that he had not taken to the consolations of religion. Adam Smith composed his famous letter in order to explain some of the controversial passages in My Own Life and, at the same time, to express unequivocally his own unstinted admiration of his friend, not merely as a philosopher, but as a man. There can also be little doubt that Smith was writing under deep emotional stress: he was genuinely troubled over Hume's determination to publish the Dialogues and was guiltily aware that his own prudent refusal to take any responsibility for them had caused his friend great disappointment.

Keywords:   David Hume, tranquility, religion, Adam Smith, letter, passages, My Own Life, Dialogues

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