Hume Archive

Hume of the Week – What Seems, Isn’t

No surprise Hume is up there as my favourite thinker. In short, bullshit leads to bad things.

Hume of the Week – Factions

Hume's 1741 view on faction fits nicely with contemporary intra-political party issues, and with concerns about the members of the political class.

Hume of the Week

Following this ¬†statement from history-challenged and (thankfully) outgoing MP Steve Gibbons, I can only hope that everyone keeps Mr Hume’s comment in mind: It is seldom, that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary (1741) ¬†Essay 2 ¬†: Of the Liberty of the Press What is so depressing […]

Hume of the Week

  Democracy is a funny thing. On the one hand it’s delivered us a standard of life – not just economic, but in terms of freedoms – that has never been achieved before. On the other, as I’ve written before, unless it is checked by liberal institutions it falls to the rule of the mob. […]

Hume of the Week

Faced with climate catastrophism and all it has spawned, I am led to Hume’s concern with religion of his period: In all ages of the world, priests have been enemies to liberty; and it is certain, that this steady conduct of theirs must have been founded on fixed reasons of interest and ambition.  Liberty of […]

Hume of the Week

OK, so this isn’t from Hume, and it is long. But it is from his best bud, Adam Smith, another Scot of practical and insightful temperament. From The Theory of Sentiments, a book which actually was more famous in his lifetime than his later Wealth of Nations. I have broken this single paragraph into several. […]

Hume of the Week

One of the lines that first dragged me to Hume’s work. Given my recurring discussion about the Smart Class, and comments on those who see themselves as more informed, it seems apt. Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that […]

Hume of the Week

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate, we are faced with the Obama-Romney election. Given what happened in 2008 and since, I am attracted by: Eloquence, when at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection; but addressing itself entirely to the fancy or the affections, captivates the willing hearers, and subdues […]

Hume of the Week

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican candidate, we are faced with the Obama-Romney election. Given what happened in 2008 and since, I am attracted by: Eloquence, when at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection; but addressing itself entirely to the fancy or the affections, captivates the willing hearers, and subdues […]

Hume of the Week

My favourite product of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume, makes a regular appearance. A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. The last two decades have more than borne out Hume’s insight.

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