David Hume

Historical Thinker, Historical Writer

By (author) Mark G. Spencer

Hardback - £57.95

Publication date:

15 November 2013

Length of book:

296 pages

Publisher

Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271061542

This volume provides a new and nuanced appreciation of David Hume as a historian. Gone for good are the days when one can offhandedly assert, as R. G. Collingwood once did, that Hume “deserted philosophical studies in favour of historical” ones. History and philosophy are commensurate in Hume’s thought and works from the beginning to the end. Only by recognizing this can we begin to make sense of Hume’s canon as a whole and see clearly his many contributions to fields we now recognize as the distinct disciplines of history, philosophy, political science, economics, literature, religious studies, and much else besides. Casting their individual beams of light on various nooks and crannies of Hume’s historical thought and writing, the book’s contributors illuminate the whole in a way that would not be possible from the perspective of a single-authored study.

Aside from the editor, the contributors are David Allan, M. A. Box, Timothy M. Costelloe, Roger L. Emerson, Jennifer Herdt, Philip Hicks, Douglas Long, Claudia M. Schmidt, Michael Silverthorne, Jeffrey M. Suderman, Mark R. M. Towsey, and F. L. van Holthoon.

David Hume: Historical Thinker, Historical Writer is a timely and wide-ranging reevaluation of a major facet of Hume’s writing. This collection shows how ‘Hume the historian’ was evolving through his philosophical works and essays, both before and during the period of his great historical writing.”

—Karen O’Brien, King’s College London