David Hume

In 1749 he went to live with his brother in the countryside, although he continued to associate with the aforementioned Scottish Enlightenment figures.

"A concise and genuine account of the dispute between Mr. Hume and Mr. Rousseau

In 1767, Hume was appointed . Here, he wrote that he was given "all the secrets of the Kingdom". In 1769 he returned to James' Court in Edinburgh, where he would live from 1771 until his death in 1776.

I cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but I hope it is not a misplaced one; and this is a matter of fact which is easily cleared and ascertained.

Experience cannot establish a necessary connection between cause and effect, because we can imagine without contradiction a case where the cause does not produce its usual effect…the reason why we mistakenly infer that there is something in the cause that necessarily produces its effect is because our past experiences have habituated us to think in this way.

Reason might manage to raise a doubt about the truth of a conclusion of natural inductive inference just for a moment ... but the sheer agreeableness of animal faith will protect us from excessive caution and sterile suspension of belief.

Power and necessity…are…qualities of perceptions, not of objects…felt by the soul and not perceiv'd externally in bodies.

Shall we rest contented with these two relations of contiguity and succession, as affording a complete idea of causation? By no means…there is a necessary connexion to be taken into consideration.

For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep; so long I am insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist.

Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason."

Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason.

Actions are, by their very nature, temporary and perishing; and where they proceed not from some cause in the character and disposition of the person who performed them, they can neither redound to his honour, if good; nor infamy, if evil.

The best theologian he ever met, he used to say, was the old Edinburgh fishwife who, having recognized him as Hume the atheist, refused to pull him out of the bog into which he had fallen until he declared he was a Christian and repeated the Lord's prayer.

…the most accessible of the theistic arguments ... which identifies evidences of design in nature, inferring from them a divine designer ... The fact that the universe as a whole is a coherent and efficiently functioning system likewise, in this view, indicates a divine intelligence behind it.

We observe neither God nor other universes, and hence no conjunction involving them. There is no observed conjunction to ground an inference either to extended objects or to God, as unobserved causes.

Many worlds might have been botched and bungled throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out: much labour lost: many fruitless trials made: and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making.

A wise man ... considers which side is supported by the greater number of experiments. ... A hundred instances or experiments on one side, and fifty on another, afford a doubtful expectation of any event; though a hundred uniform experiments, with only one that is contradictory, reasonably beget a pretty strong degree of assurance. In all cases, we must balance the opposite experiments ... and deduct the smaller number from the greater, in order to know the exact force of the superior evidence.

The views which are put forward in this treatise derive from…doctrines…which are themselves the logical outcome of the empiricism of Berkeley and David Hume.

I approached the problem of induction through Hume. Hume, I felt, was perfectly right in pointing out that induction cannot be logically justified.