A Treatise vs. An enquiry: Omissions and Distortions by the New Humeans

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (5):1015-1026 (2012)
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Abstract

There is a definite stress on the primacy of An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding over A Treatise of Human Nature by the so-called New Humeans, who in turn, advocate the sceptical/causal realist interpretation of Hume's empiricism. This paper shows how there has been a deliberate attempt by them to omit and distort certain negative aspects of Hume's life in the belief that in order to accept their interpretations we must first acknowledge that, (1) the Enquiry is the superior text and, (2) reject any criticisms suggesting that Hume only wrote it to help promote the Treatise and fulfil his ambitions for literary fame

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