Cover: Death and Character: Further Reflections on Hume, from Harvard University PressCover: Death and Character in HARDCOVER

Death and Character

Further Reflections on Hume

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$58.00 • £50.95 • €52.95

ISBN 9780674030909

Publication Date: 11/30/2008


304 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


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This collection of 13 essays provides readers with a rare opportunity to share the thoughts of someone who has been reading Hume and meditating on his thoughts and life for over 60 years… Baier maintains that Hume’s early views of personal identity and causation lead to an inadequate conception of death, and that this is why Hume eventually distanced himself from the Treatise and advised readers to direct their attention toward his Enquiries. Baier, a first-rate Hume scholar, effortlessly weaves together personal reflection, discussion of Hume the man, and scholarly argument, with the result that this book is engaging and highly readable. It deserves higher praise than is possible in this short review.—J.H. Spence, Choice

These essays are idiosyncratic and highly personal, yet at the same time genuinely infused with the spirit of Humean philosophy. One of the things that the essays collected here make clear is the value of a grasp of all of Hume’s writings, including the History of England, for a properly nuanced understanding of Hume’s moral philosophy. Another is that Baier’s deep admiration for Hume’s writings does not preclude a keen and illuminating sense of the problems Hume set for himself but failed to solve.—James A. Harris, author of Of Liberty and Necessity: The Free Will Debate in Eighteenth-Century British Philosophy

In Death and Character, Annette Baier develops a remarkable synthesis of Hume’s philosophy of the person, drawn from all his major writings. These include The History of England, which provides the inspiration for her title. Her novel interpretation of the problem Hume encountered in his account of the person in Book 1 of the Treatise and how it is played out in his later writings will inspire much debate among scholars. The book is loaded with insight into Hume’s philosophy; it sparkles with wit, imagination and exasperated love of its subject.—John P. Wright, author of The Sceptical Realism of David Hume

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