Selected Essays Hume

The volume has rarely been in print, and the last critical edition was published in 1874-75. Twenty essays were added along the way, eight were deleted, and two would await posthumous publication.With this splendid, but inexpensive, new critical edition by Eugene Miller, the door is open to a richer notion of Hume’s conception of philosophy.” (Donald Livingston, Emory University). Hume’s practice throughout his life was to supervise carefully the publication of his writings and to correct them for new editions. These three essays were incorporated into the “Third Edition, Corrected” of for subsequent editions of his collected works, but he varied the format and contents somewhat.

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Many years after Hume’s death, his close friend John Home wrote a sketch of Hume’s character, in the course of which he observed: “His Essays are at once popular and philosophical, and contain a rare and happy union of profound Science and fine writing.”17 This observation indicates why Hume’s essays were held in such high esteem by his contemporaries and why they continue to deserve our attention today. Grose for the version of the Because of initial difficulties in obtaining a photocopy of the 1777 edition, Green and Grose’s text was used as editor’s copy for the current project.

The essays are elegant and entertaining in style, but thoroughly philosophical in temper and content. Both the editor’s copy and the compositor’s reading proofs were then corrected against a photocopy of the 1777 edition obtained from the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

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A close comparison of their edition with that of 1777 shows, however, that it falls far short of the standards of accuracy that are adopted today in critical-text editing.2 There are hundreds of instances in which it departs, either intentionally or unintentionally, from the text of the 1777 edition.

Comparing Green and Grose’s “New Edition,” in the 1889 printing, with the 1777 text, we find at least 100 instances of incorrect wording (words dropped, added, or changed), 175 instances of incorrect punctuation, and 75 errors in capitalization.The most massive departures from the 1777 edition come in Hume’s footnotes, where his own citations are freely changed or augmented.Only near the end of their volume, in a final footnote to Hume’s essay “Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations,” do Green and Grose inform the reader that such changes have been made.Hume’s essays have many long footnotes, and there are at least 7 instances where Green and Grose, without warning or explanation, print not the 1777 version of the footnote but a different version from an earlier edition, producing substantial variations in wording, punctuation, and spelling besides those tabulated above.In preparing this new edition of Hume’s fidelity to the text of the 1777 edition has been a paramount aim. Two-volume editions appeared in 1764, 1767, 1768, 1772, and 1777. A new, one-volume edition appeared under this title in 1758, and other four-volume editions in 17. Google(); req('single_work'); $('.js-splash-single-step-signup-download-button').one('click', function(e){ req_and_ready('single_work', function() ); new c. edited and with a Foreword, Notes, and Glossary by Eugene F. “We have Hume’s own word that the definitive statement of his philosophy is not to be found in the youthful Treatise of Human Nature but in the 1777 posthumous edition of his collected works entitled Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. There are thirty-nine essays in the posthumous, 1777, edition of (1741–42).These bibliographical details are important because they show how highly the essays were regarded by Hume himself and by many others up to the present century.Over the past seventy years, however, the essays have been overshadowed, just as the 16—Liberty Fund has made a neglected side of Hume’s thought accessible once again to the modern reader.


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