Hume as Man of Letters: Comments on Harris's 'Hume: An Intellectual Biography'

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James A. Harris suggests, in the "Introduction" to his intellectual biography of David Hume, that we should take seriously Hume's description of himself in "My Own Life," composed in April 1776, as having intended from the beginning to live the life of a man of letters. Harris uses the category "man of letters" both to characterise Hume's intellectual career as a whole, and to address the question of how to approach the relation between Hume the philosopher, Hume the essayist, and Hume the historian. In this article, I will discuss Harris's claim that Hume "is best seen not as a philosopher who may or may not have abandoned philosophy in order to write essays and history, but as a man of letters, a philosophical...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-16
JournalHume Studies
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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