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An Analysis of David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding





ISBN 9781912127641
Published July 19, 2017 by Macat Library
84 Pages

 
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Book Description

David Hume’s 1748 Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a modern philosophical classic that helped reshape epistemology – the philosophy of knowledge. It is also a classic of the critical thinking skills of analysis and reasoning.

Analysis is all about understanding how arguments work and fit together. Having strong analytical skills helps to break down arguments, pull out the evidence on which they rely, and understand the kinds of implicit assumptions and reasons on which they work. Reasoning, meanwhile, means building and presenting arguments, forming well-structured, evidenced, and organised cases for a particular point of view. Hume applied his analytical skills to arguments about how humans know and understand the world, and how our minds work. At base, he was trying to analyse human reason itself – to show the workings and limitations of the human mind, and show the origins of our beliefs.

Hume went on to apply his reasoning skills, creating an enduring argument about the nature of human knowledge. The result was one of the most striking and famous works in the history of philosophy.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the text 

Who was David Hume? 

What does The Enquiry for Human Understanding Say? 

Why does The Enquiry for Human Understanding Matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr Michael O’Sullivan is a tutor in the Department of Philosophy, King’s College London. He is the editor of Wittgenstein and Perception.