Historical Period: The 18th Century
David Hume (1711-1776) was a moral philosopher and historian and a leading member of the Scottish Enlightenment. In philosophy he was a skeptic. In his multi-volume History of England he showed how the rule of law and the creation of an independent judiciary created the foundation for liberty in England. Hume also wrote on economics, was a personal friend of Adam Smith,and was a proponent of free trade. His works highlighted the neutrality of money and the errors of the mercantilists (whose flawed theories in favor of increased exports in order to build up a stock of gold remain the foundations of many public policies even today).
See the Liberty Matters online discussions on Smith, Hume, and Burke as Policy Liberals and Polity Conservatives and The Place of Liberty in David Hume’s Project
Quotes from David Hume:
Titles from David Hume:
- Author: BOLL 6: David Hume, “On Government” (1777)
- Author: BOLL 46: David Hume, “The Progress of English Liberty” (1761)
- Author: BOLL 70: David Hume, “Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth” (1777)
- Author: Enquiries Concerning the Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals
- Author: Essays Moral, Political, Literary (LF ed.)
- Author: The History of England, 6 vols.
- Author: Letters of David Hume to William Strahan
- Author: The Natural History of Religion
- Author: Philosophical Works of David Hume
- Author: The Progress of English Liberty
- Author: A Treatise of Human Nature