It is perhaps a truism that scholars are peculiarly susceptible to returning to the academic societies that nourished their scholarship. If so, David Hume was no exception to the rule. The chance to succeed Dr John Pringle in the chair of Ethics and Pneumatical Philosophy at Edinburgh University occurred in the summer of 1744. Here was a dignified position with a good salary that would give him the opportunity to cultivate his literary and philosophical ambitions. Hume was soon to find through sad experience that the new-modelled world did indeed remain intolerant. He was also to find that the Treatise was not dead. Pringle had never taken his chair over-seriously and, since 1742, had been on leave of absence as physician to the army.
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