David Hume


David Hume was one of the most recognized philosophers and scholars of his time , being one of the most outstanding for his incessant hunger for knowledge and his great contributions to what are the knowledge about human behavior and the thoughts of the same, together with This, proposed a theory that explained where the knowledge of each individual came from.


Personal information

  • When was he born:  05/07/1711
  • Where he was born:  Edinburgh, UK
  • When he died:  08/25/1776
  • Where he died:  Edinburgh, UK

Who was David Hume?

David Hume was recognized for being a native Scottish philosopher, economist, sociologist and historian . Being from the beginning one of the most important figures in history in everything that was recognized as the West for the time, this philosopher affirmed that all knowledge was born or grew directly from sensible experience .

  • David Hume biography
  • Thought
  • David Hume’s empiricist theory
  • Contributions
  • Plays
  • Phrases
  • Importance of David Hume

David Hume biography

He was born on May 30, 1711 in the Kingdom of Great Britain in the cradle of the nobility on the frontier of England, being the youngest of three brothers, his father was a recognized lawyer who died in 1714 , when David Hume was still a boy, from that moment together with his mother and his brothers, he went to live in Ninewells, growing up with his uncle, his father’s brother; In 1722 he entered the College where Newton’s disciples taught him and it was at this stage of his life that he began to read various Latin poets and English writers . His family longed for him to decide on a career in law .

1734 was a peak year for David, since he found himself in a crisis that he expressed in a letter to John Arbuthnot , his main concern for this time is that every subject caused him rejection, caused him disgust, unless it was closely linked with the philosophy and knowledge in general that the human brain could house. At this point in his life, he felt such disgust for other careers that against his family, his customs and his friends, he flatly refused to study law.

It was in France at 26 years of age when he finished writing his “Treatise on human nature “ , volumes of books which he published anonymously in 1739, these being a public failure , after this event David Hume returned home with his family in Scotland in 1739, a year later he began to publish his moral and political essays , a work that was a resounding success for his career.


In some moments of his career it was thought that David was an atheist , however, he flatly rejected that idea, since he had deeply instilled the ideology of an all powerful God , who saw everything and knew everything; In addition to this, at the beginning of his life he was an extremely liberal man , hungry for the knowledge and wisdom that it could bring him, in such a way that he reached the point where any other topic caused him disgust.

David Hume’s empiricist theory

Empirical, the term is commonly recognized but applied to this theory of David Hume it refers to the fact that one is not born with knowledge, although for many people this may be obvious, Hume affirmed that not even what they called gifts were from the cradle; This was developing with the evolution of the management of our body and due practice, so some of the most relevant characteristics of this theory are the following:

  • Innate knowledge does not exist .
  • There are two types of mental content.
  • There are two types of statements.
  • We need the probable statements.
  • Inductive thinking has several limitations.


Some of the most relevant contributions of David Hume were:

  • David Hume’s empirical theory.
  • Causality problem.
  • Induction problem.
  • Moral and political actions of humans.
  • His theory was in part an appetizer for behaviorism .
  • I study the behavior of humans extensively.


  • Kind story of my life.
  • Treatise on human nature, all its volumes:
  • Of understanding.
  • Of the passions,
  • Of morality.
  • The summary of the same book.
  • Essays on morals and politics.
  • Letters from a gentleman to his friend in Edinburgh.
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.
  • Research on the principles of morality.
  • Edinburgh political speeches.
  • My life.
  • England history.
  • Dialogues on natural religion .


The main phrases of David Hume are:

  • Man is man’s greatest enemy.
  • Nothing is more surprising to one who examines human affairs with a philosophical eye than the ease with which the majority is ruled by the minority.
  • The beauty of things exists in the spirit of those who contemplate them.
  • Nature is always too strong for theory.
  • The reason is and must be only the slave of the passions.
  • Each solution raises a new question.
  • Everyone complains about their bad memory. Nobody of your little understanding.
  • The sweetest and most harmless path of life leads through the avenues of science and knowledge.
  • Custom is the great guide of human life.
  • Rigorous and precise reasoning is the only universal remedy valid for all persons and dispositions.
  • All pleasure languishes when you are not enjoying company.
  • Philosophical decisions are nothing more than reflections on ordinary life, methodized and corrected.
  • Nothing is freer than the human imagination.
  • When you step beyond the world system, all you do is excite an inquisitive mood that can never be satisfied.
  • Work and poverty, so abhorred by everyone, are the safe destiny of the vast majority.
  • From my point of view, there seem to be only three principles of connection between ideas, namely: similarity, contiguity in time or space, and cause or effect.
  • Greed, or the desire for profit, is as universal as passion, which acts in all places and on all people.
  • Errors in matters of religion are dangerous; in philosophy they are just ridiculous.
  • Barbarism and arbitrariness: such are the attributes, though concealed by other names, that they constitute, as we can see everywhere, the dominant character of Deity for popular religions.
  • The mind requires some relaxation, as it cannot always be its inclination toward worry and work.
  • The primitive religion of mankind has its main source in the haunting fear of the future.
  • Only by experience do we know the influence of our will .
  • The actions of a man are not only interdependent in any limited period of his life, but throughout his entire duration, from cradle to grave.
  • I must admit that a man who concludes that an argument has no reality, because it has escaped his investigation, is guilty of inexcusable arrogance.

Importance of David Hume

As has been said previously, David Hume was a highly recognized philosopher , who contributed various knowledge to society that are currently used for the study of human behavior and the way of thinking of each individual, thanks to his theory. Empirical knowledge was observed from another point of view, the old conception that people were born with gifts was fractured, giving way to knowledge through experience.

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