A Treatise of Human Nature

A Treatise Of Human Nature

A Treatise of Human Nature

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A Treatise of Human Nature is a book by Scottish philosopher David Hume, first published in 1739–1740.

The full title of the Treatise is 'A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects'. It contains the following sections:
  • Book 1: "Of the Understanding" – An investigation into human cognition. Important statements of Skepticism.
  • Book 2: "Of the Passions" – A treatment of emotions and free will.
  • Book 3: "Of Morals" – A treatment of moral ideas, justice, obligations, benevolence.


Hume wrote A Treatise of Human Nature in France at the age of twenty-six. Although many scholars today consider the Treatise to be Hume's most important work and one of the most important books in the history of philosophy, the public in Britain did not at first agree. Hume himself described the (lack of) public reaction to the publication of the Treatise by writing that the book "fell dead-born from the press."Hume, David (1776) My Own Life, Appendix A of Ernest Campbell Mossner, The Life of David Hume, University of Texas Press, 1954, p. 612.

Hume intended to see whether the Treatise met with success and, if so, to complete it with books devoted to morals, politics, and criticism. My...
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