1. Introduction: Hume Today Hume's works continue to fascinate historians of both philosophy and of the social sciences. The literature on him is expanding and invites some overview, some guidelines. In particular, certain rules of interpretation have to be laid down, certain achievements have to be listed and not allowed to get lost because of negligence, certain trends in reading Hume have to be established, and leading problems put high on the agenda. Of course, each item on such a list has to be open to revision, but consensus nonetheless may be reached, however tentative. The starting point may well be the works of Fr. Vindig Kruse (1939) and Norman Kemp Smith (1941). The former analyzed Hume's regret at having published his early Treatise. Hume's expressed regret made some authors ignore his Treatise, and others confine their attention to it, ignoring his other works, as the product of Â-- in his own words Â-- the "lowly love of literary fame." Kruse found that Hume regretted his impetuous presentation, not the content of the book. This leaves much scope for setting out changes in Hume's views as they unfold, but no author who ignores Kruse's argument deserves serious consideration.
Hume Studies – Hume Society
Published: Jan 26, 1985