Lauren Lyles

Lauren Lyles

Published: 29 Sep 2023


David Hume, the renowned Scottish philosopher and historian, is a figure whose impact on the fields of philosophy and social sciences cannot be overstated. Born in 1711 in Edinburgh, Hume’s contributions to empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism laid the foundations for modern philosophy. His works, such as “A Treatise of Human Nature” and “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,” continue to be studied and debated to this day. In this article, we will delve into the life and ideas of David Hume, uncovering 17 astounding facts about the man behind the intellectual legacy. From his controversial views on causation to his influential role in the Scottish Enlightenment, prepare to be captivated by the life of one of the greatest thinkers in history.

Table of Contents

David Hume was a Scottish philosopher.

David Hume was a renowned Scottish philosopher who made significant contributions to empiricism, skepticism, and moral philosophy.

He was born in 1711.

David Hume was born on May 7, 1711, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Hume’s most famous work is “A Treatise of Human Nature.”

“A Treatise of Human Nature” is considered as Hume’s magnum opus and laid the foundation for his philosophical ideas.

He was a prominent figure during the Scottish Enlightenment.

David Hume played a significant role in the Scottish Enlightenment, a period of intellectual and scientific advancement in Scotland.

Hume was highly skeptical of religious claims.

Hume was known for his skepticism towards religious beliefs and argued for a naturalistic understanding of the world.

He was friends with many Enlightenment thinkers.

David Hume had close relationships with other notable thinkers of his time, such as Adam Smith and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Hume’s philosophical ideas greatly influenced Immanuel Kant.

Hume’s philosophy of skepticism had a profound impact on Immanuel Kant’s development of his own philosophical system.

He advocated for a science of human nature.

Hume believed in the importance of studying human behavior and advocated for a science that would explore the complexities of human nature.

Hume proposed the “problem of induction.”

One of Hume’s most famous contributions was his critique of the notion of induction, raising doubts about the reliability of inductive reasoning.

He wrote extensively on moral philosophy.

Hume delved into moral philosophy and explored subjects such as ethical theories, moral sentiment, and the role of passions in human moral judgments.

Hume’s political philosophy emphasized limited government.

David Hume argued for limited government and advocated for principles such as individual freedom and property rights.

He worked as a librarian.

For several years, Hume served as the Keeper of the Advocates’ Library in Edinburgh, where he had access to a vast collection of books.

Hume’s writings influenced future generations of philosophers.

His philosophical works had a lasting impact and influenced philosophers such as John Stuart Mill, Bertrand Russell, and Karl Popper.

He believed that morality is based on sentiment, not reason.

Hume argued that moral judgments are derived from sentiments and emotions rather than rational reasoning alone.

Hume’s ideas contributed to the development of modern economics.

His insights on economics and the understanding of human behavior laid the groundwork for the field of behavioral economics.

He passed away in 1776.

David Hume died on August 25, 1776, in Edinburgh, leaving behind a legacy of philosophical ideas that continue to be studied and debated.

Hume’s statue is located on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

A statue of David Hume stands proudly on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, honoring his intellectual contributions and his place in Scottish history.


David Hume was an extraordinary philosopher whose ideas continue to shape our understanding of knowledge, morality, and human nature. Through his groundbreaking works, Hume challenged prevailing beliefs, offering fresh perspectives that sparked debate and influenced generations of thinkers.Hume’s skepticism and empiricism brought a new level of rigor to philosophical inquiry, questioning the certainty of knowledge and emphasizing the importance of empirical evidence. His influential work on causation and induction laid the foundation for scientific reasoning and the development of the scientific method.Furthermore, Hume’s moral philosophy rejected the notion of objective moral values, asserting that moral judgments are based on sentiment and personal preference. This radical departure from traditional moral theories challenged long-held beliefs and paved the way for further ethical exploration.In summary, David Hume’s contributions to philosophy are profound and enduring. His insights continue to inspire intellectual discussions and shape our understanding of the world. Through his rational skepticism, empirical approach, and groundbreaking ideas, Hume has left an indelible mark on the field of philosophy.


1. Who was David Hume?

David Hume was an influential Scottish philosopher known for his works on epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of mind.

2. What were Hume’s main philosophical ideas?

Hume’s main philosophical ideas include skepticism, empiricism, and his theories on causation, induction, and moral philosophy.

3. How did Hume challenge prevailing beliefs?

Hume challenged prevailing beliefs through his skepticism, questioning the certainty of knowledge and challenging traditional theories of causation and morality.

4. What is Hume’s contribution to the scientific method?

Hume’s work on causation and induction laid the foundation for the scientific method, emphasizing the importance of empirical evidence and rational inquiry.

5. How did Hume approach morality?

Hume’s moral philosophy rejected the notion of objective moral values, arguing that moral judgments are based on sentiment and personal preferences.

6. What is Hume’s legacy?

Hume’s legacy is a lasting impact on the field of philosophy, inspiring intellectual discussions, and shaping our understanding of knowledge, morality, and human nature.