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HUME, David (1711-1776). A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to introduce the experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects. Volumes I-II. London: for John Noon, 1739.
2 volumes, 8o (209 x 128 mm). (Some minor marginal stains on title verso and facing leaf in first volume.) Contemporary half speckled calf, marbled boards (joints starting on second volume, some minor wear at edges). Provenance: J.M. Herries (signature on title-pages, dated 1842).
FIRST EDITION. "In the Treatise ... we have the first attempt to apply Locke's empirical psychology to build a theory of knowledge, and from it to provide a critique of metaphysical ideas. Where the former postulated a material substance existing independently of perception and the latter a spiritual, Hume maintained that the continued existence of objects distinct from perception is illusory. Where hitherto a distinction had been made between reason and the combined product of sensation and experience, he declared that our 'rational' judgements are simply association by custom. All our knowledge is only the sum of our conscious experience" (PMM). The first two volumes, subtitled of the Understanding and of the Passions, respectively, were published anonymously. A third volume, subtitled ...of Morals, was published in 1740. PMM 194; Norman 1113. (2)
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