David Hume

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David Hume

(1711-1776)

Scottish-born philosopher-historian Hume's masterwork, A Treatise of Human Nature, stands as one of philosophy's most influential and compelling achievements, though at the time of its publication it was poorly received. Hume followed up with Essays Moral and Political, a more successful effort although he was not able to secure an appointment to universities at either Glasgow or Edinburgh (probably because of his admitted atheism). After travels abroad, Hume returned to Edinburgh and produced Political Discourses and an immense History of England. These successes led to a happy sojourn in Paris as secretary to the ambassador. Hume was greatly appreciated by the French and referred to his time there as "walk[ing] on flowers." Hume ultimately returned to Edinburgh where, on his death, he was mourned as one of the intellectual giants of his time.