Talk:David Hume

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Former good articleDavid Hume was one of the Philosophy and religion good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
On this day... Article milestones
January 13, 2006Good article nomineeListed
October 19, 2006Featured article candidateNot promoted
May 7, 2007WikiProject A-class reviewNot approved
May 29, 2009Good article reassessmentDelisted
September 19, 2014Good article nomineeNot listed
December 3, 2014Good article nomineeNot listed
December 14, 2014Good article nomineeNot listed
On this day... A fact from this article was featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on May 7, 2017.
Current status: Delisted good article

induction not evolutionary[edit]

The claim at the end of the problem of induction section that

"This is the closest thing possible during his (pre-Darwinian) time to an evolutionary account of our inductive tendencies, and Hume here has lit on a central feature in any properly atheistic Science of Man, placing him firmly in the naturalist tradition of great thinkers."

seems to be POV espescially without a source It is also innaccurate as it seems to suggest some innate ideas about induction which contradicts hume's blank slate idea of the mind. We may well read evolution into his account and he probably would have too had he known of it but there's no indication that this occurred to him.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:David Hume/GA4. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Prhartcom (talk) 06:28, 6 December 2014 (UTC), J Milburn (talk · contribs) 10:28, 3 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Prhartcom (talk · contribs) and I will be taking on this review. I applaud you for taking on such an important and difficult (in terms of content but especially in terms of the very large amount of literature) topic. I will let Prhartcom have first whack, and then I'll take a detailed look through the article. J Milburn (talk) 10:28, 3 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Previous GA reviews[edit]

For those who are interested, previous attempts to bring this article to GA quality are available here:

Beginning this GA review[edit]

I am honoured to review this article. I am approaching it as a reader who is mostly unfamiliar with the subject of David Hume. I hope to use this as an advantage: I am expecting the article to be a broad, readable overview of the subject suitable for beginners like me, neutral and well-written to help me learn without becoming bogged down in scholarly details, engaging, while providing a rich, factually accurate understanding, complete with plenty of images, internal links, and verifiable references. I realise this is a GA review, accountable to the Wikipedia:Good article criteria (and not an FA review) but this is a Wikipedia:Vital article and it deserves the best attention.

This article does appear to be well-referenced, however on closer inspection the references are fairly sloppy. It is not a GA requirement to make the following changes, but if it were me making the improvements, I would want my references to be in the best shape:
  • Consider providing a complete bibliography of all cited sources, alphabetical by author, with footnotes above (containing only author's last name, year of publication, and page number if applicable) referring to complete bibliography entries (the Harvard reference; example here). Currently this article presents a list of inline citations in the Notes and a list of citations in the References, so what are the References—weren't the Notes the References? Why can't the References be referred to inline? If the References are not referenced inline, then what is the difference between them and the Further reading?
  • Consider providing a way for readers to verify the references from the Notes section, to acquire the books/journals/articles for themselves, to learn more about an author by clicking the link in their name, and to learn the date of the source reference. For the books, the ISBN of an available edition should be provided every time, which the cite template enhances into a link to further information. Book page numbers should be provided every time. An Author's name should include the authorlink parameter if their Wikipedia article exists (an example is Bryan Magee).
  • Consider converting the inline references in this article that are Wikipedia:Bare URLs (about half are this type) to the more meaningful Template:cite book, cite journal, or cite web.
  • Consider reworking the "Bot inserted parameters", which currently state: "Either remove it; or change its value to '.' for the cite to end in a '.', as necessary." (Are editors maintaining the inline cited references?)
  • Consider bringing more consistency to the cited references, citing all citation types: books, journals, websites, the same way each time (each citation type using the same critical parameters: last, first, title, date or year, work or publisher, ISBN/digital object identifier/url).
Please consider the following:
  • The article is fairly well-written, but not terribly engaging. I am not positive that beginners are going to be enraptured while reading it. It is not dry, fortunately, such as a scholarly tome might be, but it is a little bit bland. Compare, for example, one of it's first references: the David Hume section of this article. I decided to read this, and found it grabbed me immediately. It got to the point, wrote in a way that interested the reader, and was simple to understand. Although it was brief, I got a lot out of it and felt it explained to me who David Hume was. In short, it was engaging. It is not a GA requirement for an article to grab the reader and be fun to read, but I had to admit that this article may have a slight blandness problem.
  • Try to ensure each section begins with a sentence (or two) that summarizes what will be stated in the section. Try to ensure each section ends with a sentence (or two) that stirs some emotional impact. A good example of the former: In the section: Religious views; its opening sentences. It is a good, sumarising opening, allowing the reader to achieve a comfortable feeling as they feel they understand that the tone has been set and a description stated for what they are about to read. (Compare this instead to a section that immediately begins fact dissemination without introduction.) And a good example of the latter: In the section: Later years; its closing sentences. Hume's story of Charon is wonderful; it provides emotional impact as the reader coasts to the full stop at the end; it leaves the reader feeling that this article is enjoyable to read and makes them want to keep reading. (Compare this instead to a section that simply finishes fact dissemination without emotion.) (Another good example of a good opening is the first sentence in the Induction section: "The cornerstone of Hume's epistemology is the problem of induction." Another good example of a good closing is the final sentence in the introduction to the Writings section: "... but he was sceptical about claims to knowledge on this basis.")
  • Structure the paragraphs of each section so that each paragraph has a specific goal, and arrange the paragraphs (with their goals) in a strategic order within the section. A good example of this is, again, the Religious views section: The first paragraph's goal is to support's Hume's atheism, the middle supports his Christianity, and the last supports Hume's clever balance between the two. This section is beautifully structured; it has transcended mere encyclopedic fact-providing and has moved into the realm of storytelling.
Overview and Details
It is apparent that this article is well-researched has had some copy editing, already reaching a high level of quality. It is very nearly GA. Still, one can always nitpick. Following are issues mostly of format. Please allow me to ask for correction of the following details that pertain to the article as a whole:
  • The following links occur more than once in the article; please remove the links from the second (and beyond) occurrences: University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, The History of England (Hume), Adam Smith, Four Dissertations#The Natural History of Religion, Robert Boyle, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Thomas Hobbes, Empiricism.
  • Please check the following words that appear in the article; not sure if they are the correct Scottish English spelling?: recognized, recognizes, emphasized, criticized, civilized, categorize, characterizes.
  • Should add Template:Use Scottish English at top of article (next to the other Template:Use).
  • Please spell out the following contractions that appear in the article: don't, aren't, isn't.
  • Current footnote #91, which references the phrase "notions of freedom and determinism": Parameter "contribution =Compatibilism" is incorrect and is being ignored by the Cite Web template and an error message is being displayed. Changing to the "at" parameter would remove the error, but a better idea would be to consistently use the usual parameters to the cite template as stated above.
  • If a quoted phrase is the end of a sentence or phrase, then move the full stop or comma inside the quote marks, otherwise it is correct to leave the punctuation outside the quote marks. This may already be done correctly everywhere, but in many places I believe that the speaker's quoted sentence has ended. Please check every quote and move the punctuation mark inside where appropriate.
  • Properly introduce the people who appear in this article, especially if they have no Wikipedia article. Rather than bluntly say "Laird Okie writes ..." say instead, "Twentieth century historian Laird Okie writes ..." as we don't know who he is. Go through the entire article and correct this, as it occurs frequently.
  • Consider providing Wikipedia:Alternative text for images used in this article for our readers with sight issues (they use special readers that look for a text equivalent of the image and read it aloud to the reader). This is done by providing an "alt" parameter of the file.
  • Change every occurrence of the ellipsis to use the " " non-breaking space character as follows: "text ... text" (note how the   is used before the ellipsis and a normal space is used after).
  • There are twelve "blockquotes" used in this article (a quote set apart by white space all around it). This is fine; they look beautiful, but ten are done using the <blockquote> tag pair and two are done using the {{Quote}} template. Please use a consistent form throughout; I suggest using the blockquote tag pair. Also, consider hitting the enter key twice before the first blockquote tag and after the last one if these are not there already, which will help other editors see it within the text (it will not affect the displayed white space).
  • I do not have a problem with the quotations as the previous GA reviewer had. I agree that it lends more impact to present the facts in the notable person's own words. As I mentioned to you on a Talk page, this should be kept within reason, as I believe you do. For example, one would not wish to read a section that is mostly quotes, or read two quoted sentences from two different people one after the other. You do paraphrase when it is appropriate and quote when it is appropriate. Still, as there are so many, why not critically re-examine every single use of quotes and see if you might be able to reduce some of them by paraphrasing. For example, in the opening paragraph to the section Writings, we get two quotes from Hume followed by an unattributed quote from an observer. That third quote is a bit odd, with no indication of who is speaking and appearing so closely to the quotes of the great man; almost giving the observer's quote the same weight, which it should not. There are a few other borderline cases like this, so please re-examine.

I shall now attempt to review the entire article, by section. Happily, most of these notes below are relatively minor. Truly, this article is quite well done already, as I do not make difficult suggestions below, i.e. I do ask you to provide better research or other difficult tasks.

  • Change "Bitters, & Anti-Hysteric" to "Bitters and Anti-Hysteric" and "lean & raw" to "lean and raw" (it's okay to fix spelling and punctuation of a quote, just don't changing wording of course).
  • "Professor" needing lower-case "p" ... but I suppose Hume wrote it that way, in which case leave it.
  • Consider changing "nervous breakdown" to "mental breakdown" (the name of the article).
  • A Treatise of Human Nature is mentioned in an offhand way without being properly introduced (except in the lede). This book needs a proper introduction, a sentence all to itself, describing its importance. Please provide a new sentence doing so prior to this one. You may need to steal from the first sentence of the next paragraph.
  • "Great Britain": remove link (bloody obvious).
  • Change Essays Moral and Political to Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary and provide the link to the article.
  • Consider changing "Jacobite Rebellion" to "Jacobite risings" (the name of the article). Perhaps this is a bit better as there was more than one. Update: Still not what I mentioned; I suggested "Jacobite risings" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "The History of England (David Hume)" to "The History of England (Hume)" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "Lord Monboddo" to "James Burnett, Lord Monboddo" (the name of the article).
  • Insert the name "James" into "Lieutenant-General St Clair" (keeping the link the way it is).
  • Change link "Christian heresy" to "heresy in Christianity" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "Professor of Moral Philosophy, Glasgow" to "Professor of Moral Philosophy (Glasgow)" (the name of the article). Update: I see you took the link out completely; is this because the position is not what you thought and the original link is inappropriate? Or does it need the link I mention?
  • Why is the sentence "Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian ..." and its next sentence in a paragraph by itself here, instead of appearing when this topic was introduced earlier? Is it because it did not achieve acclaim until this point in his career? I suggest this is moved to where it was first mentioned if possible; it is too disjointed otherwise.
  • "A Treatise of Human Nature"; italicise.
  • "best-seller"; change to "bestseller".
Religious views
  • Change "There has been much discussion ..." to anything other than a sentence starting with "There". For example, to "Historians continue to discuss ..."
  • Provide a link for the first mention of "Protestant" (as we have for "Catholic").
  • Change "standard theism. ..." to "standard theism ..." (note the removed full stop before the ellipsis). (Of course also use the &nbsp; before the ellipsis as mentioned above)
  • Consider reversing the two images; move the image of Hume's tomb to the portion of the article discussing his passing. In fact, there is a dearth of images further down in the article; perhaps move the portrait image there.
  • Move the fourth "paragraph", a single sentence, somewhere else, anywhere else. Why have a single sentence paragraph, ever?
  • Spelling: "recognized" to "recognised"
Later years
  • Provide link to "Lord Hertford".
  • Change "roman" to "Roman" (again, it's okay to correct spelling and punctuation in quotes).
  • Remove the "200px" parameter from the portrait image, allowing it to be the default thumbnail size (best for all web readers).
  • "south-west" and "south-western"; change to "southwest" and "southwestern".
As historian of England
  • Why is this section at this level, equal to Biography and Writings? Isn't it, say, part of his career or his writings? I am no expert, but I believe it must be equal to each of his categories of writings.
  • Hume's quote "system of liberty, that"; remove the comma.
  • Provide link to "liberty", especially as it is a philosophical term. Update: Now that the History section has moved, there is another occurrence of "liberty" appearing before this one. Please remove this link then, and add the link to the first occurrence of liberty in the Free will section.
  • "Generally Hume"; add a comma.
  • Provide link to first occurrence of "royalist" and change both of the Rs to lower-case.
  • Provide link to "Stuarts" (as "House of Stuart").
  • "regard the History": History should be italicised.
  • Provide link to "Presbyterians" and "Puritans".
  • "However Hume"; add a comma.
  • What is the "palm of greatness"? Can you add an explanatory phrase?
  • Why does Hume say "Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, and Natural Religion" and why are they italicised? I am confused. Are they books? Perhaps they should not be italicised, if not?
  • "'other sciences', and"; remove comma.
  • Change "the logical positivist movement" to "logical positivism" as this term has not actually been used yet.
  • Change link "Newtonian physics" to "classical mechanics" (the name of the article).
  • As many other sections also are, this is a well-done section, well-written for the beginning philosophy student.
  • The heading to this section contains the comment, "". Delete this; it is not true.
  • Another good section, presenting the pro paragraphs, the con paragraphs, and finally the summary paragraph that wraps up the pros and the cons.
  • I assume, for these blockquotes, it is Hume that is speaking. But can you clarify this by saying so? For example, leading into a blockquote could be the phrase: "As Hume said:"
  • Must we have the one and two sentence paragraphs?
The self
  • Another good section. The goal of the middle paragraph is to offset the first paragraph.
  • Provide link to "ontology" ("ontological").
  • Italicise the two mentions of "the Treatise".
  • So, Hume essentially contradicts or questions himself in the Appendix to the Treatise? Without getting too detailed, I would be interested in reading more detail of some of these "number of different answers", which I assume are from other scholars, but the section does not say. Oh, but ... some of these "answers" are in the next paragraph, I see? In that case, consider not starting a new paragraph if we are still on the same topic. And don't start it "Another interpretation ..." which really sounds like we are changing the subject.
  • This first person James Giles, and the other person Alison Gopnik mentioned further in, need proper introductions. For example, "argued for by contemporary philosopher James Giles" or "professor of psychology Alison Gopnik".
  • Provide links to both of these people. Update: Still need link to "Alison Gopnik".
Practical reason
  • Provide link to "rationalism" (anti-rationalism).
  • The "external world" has no link; should it? Perhaps to "philosophical skepticism"?
  • Provide link to "propositional attitude".
  • "Though a metaphor, it has been argued that ..." What is the metaphor? Who is doing the arguing? Update: We still need to know who is doing the arguing. Either provide a footnote to a source or say outright. Otherwise this sounds like "SOME people say ..."
  • I did not realise at first that a "neo-Humean" must be someone who studies David Hume; I did not recognise his name in the term. Same thing with "Kantians", I failed to notice this term must have something to do with Kant. Any ideas on how to make these terms more immediately intuitive? (Or is it just me? Very possibly.)
  • Provide link to "Simon Blackburn". (Come on! You provided a link to the academics listed on either side of him, but forgot him?!)
  • Remove "See also Is–ought problem" template (we already link to this article immediately below).
  • Change link "Is-ought argument" (further down) to "Is–ought problem" (the name of the article).
  • "Treatise, and"; remove comma.
  • "An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals"; italicise.
  • Provide link to "Allan Gibbard".
  • Change "is-ought" to "is–ought".
Free will, determinism, and responsibility
  • Change link "laws of physics" to "physical law" (the name of the article).
  • "presume, that"; remove comma.
  • There is just too much white space in this section and it looks awful. For example, there is a single-sentence paragraph ("Hume argued that the dispute about ...") followed by a blockquote. The worst is the single-sentence paragraph ("Hume defines the concepts of ...") followed by two definitions, each in their own paragraph. I suggest removing the blank line between the two definitions, then placing them both within a single blockquote. This will help somewhat.
  • "caused, i.e. necessitated, for"; I don't believe the "i.e." here is being used correctly. Can you remove it and rework this? Also, I believe there should be a colon after the "for" and before the blockquote.

:*Don't say this: "For this influential argument, which is still made in a Humean vein, see P. F. Strawson's essay, Freedom and Resentment." This is a directive aside to the reader, not prose; please rewrite this.

Writings on religion
  • "as well as later in The Natural History of Religion" Why is this title mentioned here; we just finished talking about it and now the topic is being raised as if for the first time. Notice how it is linked but the earlier mention of this title is not linked; link the first mention of this title and remove this mention completely.
  • "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion"; italicise both this occurrence of this title and the other one, further down.
Design argument
  • Remove "See also: Anthropic principle and Problem of evil" template (we already link to this below; I'll also ask J Milburn's opinion of these).
  • "Natural theology"; lower-case N.
  • "Teleological argument"; lower-case T. We are in the middle of sentences here (the first letter of a link will match regardless of its case).
  • "This is "the most popular, because"; who is speaking here, the Britannica? Then say so; give the speaker a proper introduction; we should not have any unattributed quotes.
  • "most accessible, of the theistic"; remove comma.
  • "divine designer. ... The fact that"; remove full stop before the space and ellipsis and "That" should have a lower-case T.
  • "St. Paul, with" should be changed to "St. Paul and" (no comma, changed word) for improved readability. Consider changing the link to "Paul the Apostle" but "St. Paul" may continue to be displayed.
  • "St Paul wrote:"; perhaps change the colon to a comma.
  • "Ever since the creation of the world his" change to "Ever since the creation of the world, his"; needs comma, which is even present in the referenced source. Move the full stop to the other side of the reference. I notice a similar template for Bible quotes is available that also gives the abbreviated book name: Template:Bibleref2c instead of Bibleref2c-nb ("no book").
  • "A century later the idea"; insert comma.
  • "Anthropic Principle"; lower-case both the A and the P.
  • "bungled, throughout"; remove comma.
  • "natural selection"; move the link from the second occurrence to the first occurrence.
Problem of miracles
  • Remove "See also: Miracle" template (we already link to this article immediately below).
  • "In his discussion ... (Section 10)"; add comma after this phrase.
  • Let's remove the four bullet points and work them into the paragraph. Bullets are appropriate for the Works section but not prose. (When determining article length, bullet points are not even considered part of the article.) For example, they can be related by adding introductory phrases "Also," and "As well," and "Finally,".
  • Third bullet point has an italicised word "occur"; why? If there is no good answer, remove the italics.
  • "he stated: “I flatter myself"; change to "as he stated, “I flatter myself" (new word "as" and change colon to comma).
  • Change "scrutiny not just primarily of miracles but" to "scrutiny, not just primarily of miracles, but".
  • "Founded on a principle of rationality, proportionality and reasonability greatly analogous to the evidence used in a Civil Court."; this is not a complete sentence. Should it be attached to the previous sentence? Should it be,"It is a common sense notion of veracity based upon epistemological evidence, and founded on a principle of rationality, proportionality, and reasonability, greatly analogous to the evidence used in a civil court."? I doubt this resulting sentence can be asserted without a reference; do we have a reference for this? Update: Still no ref; shouldn't there be?
  • "balance of probabilities" should probably be "balance of probability".
  • "notion for the existence of miracles such accounts"; insert comma: "notion for the existence of miracles, such accounts". (There certainly are a lot of misplaced/missing commas in this article. Can no one else see this?)
  • "contradict one another as some people"; insert comma: "contradict one another, as some people".
  • "will aim to prove the authority of Jesus whereas others"; insert comma: "will aim to prove the authority of Jesus, whereas others".
  • "begging the question"; provide link.
  • "This in Hume's philosophy was" to "This, in Hume's philosophy, was".
  • "natural laws"; provide link. Update: If what you are linking from is plural and the article you are linking to is singular, the link is done as follows, please change to this: "[[natural law]]s".
  • "Laws of Nature" (both occurrences); lower-case L and N, or better: Should it be changed to "natural law", as we have just mentioned the term and we should indicate this is the same topic? Update: "Natural laws"; Same plural-to-singular link as above, please.
  • "my senses have deceived me" and "I have past experience of"; problematic use of first person; perhaps change to third person or rework another way; the sentence is quite long. Update: The new sentence "Hume would say, all of which he had past experience of." appears not to be a complete sentence; please rework. (If you meant "As Hume would say", I don't think we can speak for Hume.)
  • "correctness – he"; consider changing to "correctness. He".
  • "who having grown up in a hot country refuses" to "who, having grown up in a hot country, refuses".
  • "By Hume's lights this refusal" to "By Hume's lights, this refusal". "Lights"? I am unfamiliar with this. What is "lights"? Update: Please explain to me what this "lights" term means; I really don't know, and I doubt anyone else will either. Perhaps use a different word.
Political theory
  • "His thought"; perhaps "His thoughts"? I'm actually not sure which would be better.
  • Change link "conservative" to "conservatism" (the name of the article). Update: Link was spelled incorrectly; it's supposed to be "conservatism" (not "conservativism").
  • Change link "contractarian" to "social contract" or "contractarianism" , whichever you think is best.
  • Change link "utilitarian" to "utilitarianism" (the name of the article).
  • "Here the legacy of" to "Here, the legacy of".
  • The sentence mentioned in the point above is really too long. Perhaps bring a full stop after "enthusiasm and factionalism", then perhaps the remainder becomes a new sentence beginning, "To Hume, these ...".
  • He thinks"; not any more he doesn't; needs past tense. I usually prefer "believe" over "think". "He is", appearing later in the same sentence, also needs past tense. (P.S. I may have missed checking for correct tense throughout the review; let's both check.)
  • "republics"; perhaps "a republic"?
  • "Monarchy"; lower-case M.
  • Change link "British Whig Party" to "Whigs (British political party)" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "Tories" to "Tory" (the name of the article).
  • "Hume writes" to "Hume writes:".
  • Change single quote marks of 'precautionary conservative' to double quotation marks.
  • Change link "liberty of the press" to "freedom of the press" (the name of the article).
  • Believe it or not, Federalist No. 10 needs its italics removed and double quotation marks added, as it is a short work and not a feature-length work. Perhaps the word "essay" should precede the title.
  • Change the link "citizen" to "citizenship" (the name of the article).
  • "are as a result much happier" to "are, as a result, much happier".
  • "sceptic": remove link (already linked more than once).
  • Essay title "Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth" needs italics removed and double quotation marks added.
  • Change link "decentralisation" to "decentralization" (the name of the article).
  • Change the two links "Swiss" and Militia" to "military of Switzerland".
  • The lengthy quote from Strauss and Cropsey which quotes Hume can easily be reworked to avoid the single quotes within double quotes. We don't need to quote them paraphrasing, we should be doing the paraphrasing. And then quote Hume in normal double quotation marks. Don't even mention Strauss and Cropsey. I side with the previous reviewer in this case; this use of quotes is unreadable and unacceptable.
  • Change link "George Sabine" to "George Holland Sabine" (the name of the article). I wonder if we should refer to him as just "Sabine".
  • Change link "government by consent" to "consent of the governed" (the name of the article).
Contributions to economic thought
  • Provide links to "private property", "inflation", and "foreign trade". There is another occurrence of "private property" in the next paragraph that is linked; remove that link.
  • Essay "Of the Balance of Trade,"; move the comma on the other side of the closing quote mark; it's not part of the essay title.
  • Two paragraphs are commented out. I assume this is because they are not referenced. Delete them. (They are still available to read if necessary from the article history.)
  • The "A. J. Ayer" link is "Alfred Ayer", but simply leave it "A. J. Ayer" (the name of the article).
  • "derive from ... doctrines ...,"; remove the comma.
  • "Albert Einstein (1915) wrote"; why say the year in parenthesis like this? How about, "Albert Einstein wrote in 1915 ..."
  • Change "Special Theory of Relativity" to "theory of special relativity", lower-case T, S, and R, where "special relativity" is linked (it's the name of the article).
  • "David Fate Norton (1993) asserted" to "David Fate Norton asserted in 1993".
  • "Problem of Induction"; use lower-case I. You could consider unlinking (we have already linked) but it is not necessary to.
  • In Popper's quote about knowledge, is it necessary to put single quote marks around "Knowledge"? I assume Popper used double quote marks, but the two types of quote marks next to each other is a bit jarring. I suggest removing the single quote marks for readability.
  • The lede length is appropriate, considering the length of the article. It is not too long.
  • Change link "psychological" to "psychology" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "rationalists" to "rationalism" (the name of the article).
  • Change link "innate ideas" to "innatism" (the name of the article).
  • ""dogmatic slumbers" and" to ""dogmatic slumbers"." (add full stop).
  • Fix the "citation needed".
  • I don't see a need to collapse the two flatlists near the bottom of the infobox (Influences and Influenced) as they currently are; they do not take up additional room in the article.


Review ratings will be provided soon. Please, first fix what is pointed out above, or provide your reason why not.

Good job on this challenging and interesting article. J Milburn, please feel free to begin your review in the meantime. Myrvin, I look forward to your response. Once again, good job. Prhartcom (talk) 06:28, 6 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have struck the points above that you have fixed; well done. I have left those still needing attention. I will continue to read the article, looking for improvements. When J Milburn has completed his review, I will provide the GA List rating and final assessment. Once again, well done! Prhartcom (talk) 01:29, 10 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA review response[edit]

An amazing review. I've carried out the great majority of the detailed changes.

  • One comma removal seemed to be the first part of a parenthetical pair, so I left it. (OK)
  • IZ to IS. Did all of these I think. Do we change IZ even if it's in a quote by an American? That's why I left it in at first. (OK)
  • I can't find a link to THIS Lord Monboddo. There are others. Monboddo is already linked. (OK)
  • Simon Blackburn was linked earlier. (OK)
  • The hidden parts of the infobox seem to be built into the philosopher template. I couldn't see where to change them. (OK. J. Milburn, do you know how to make these appear expanded by default?)
  • I couldn't find a cn tag in the lead. There were two citation Bot notes. I think I fixed them. (new)I've done the other Bot comments too. (OK)
  • I'm thinking about the As historian of England section, neo-Humeans, Kantians. (new)I've added links for the last two. Should I explain further? (new)I've moved the Historian text into Writings. (OK)
  • I haven't dealt with most of your "consider" suggestions. I thought I'd do the detailed ones first. Myrvin (talk) 13:56, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're doing great, then! I'm glad you caught the issues with the review; allow me to check into those that you need assistance on. I greatly enjoyed reading about this great man. Yes, those "consider" suggestions are at your discretion; I am certainly available for assistance; do let me know. Soon our friend User:J Milburn will offer his review, which I predict will be helpful and insightful. Question: Could David Hume really out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel? Face-wink.svg Prhartcom (talk) 14:09, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's funny: I was considering starting my response with, "I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition." Myrvin (talk) 14:21, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have moved the images around. Is that better? Myrvin (talk) 16:00, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed yes. I still need to re-read the article and ensure that all is looking good. And later I will provide the GA List ratings. I haven't checked to ensure that all topics mentioned in the Infobox appear somewhere in the article; can you please double-check this? Regarding the References section: I am hoping that you will agree to 1) ensure that all, not just some, of the sources referred to in this article are present here, and 2) change the bare URLs to the more sophisticated cite templates. Again, this is purely up to you; I cannot keep you from refusing. Cheers. Prhartcom (talk) 16:45, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nothing at all on his aesthetics. I'm starting it now. Myrvin (talk) 19:03, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This could probably do with a copy edit. I am now punch drunk. Myrvin (talk) 21:55, 8 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just a quick note (I've not read all the way through Prhartcom's comments)- you shouldn't change spelling on direct quotes, as per MOS:QUOTE: "However, national varieties should not be changed, as these may involve changes in vocabulary, and because articles are prone to flipping back and forth. For example, a quotation from a British source should retain British spelling, even in an article that otherwise uses American spelling." I'm going to take a look through the article now. J Milburn (talk) 19:08, 9 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've put the Z back in. Myrvin (talk) 20:01, 9 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
J Milburn is correct; we don't change national varieties of spelling. J Milburn, if I directed Myrvin to do so, then I apologise. We were just correcting misspellings and mis-punctuation. Again, MOS:QUOTE: "A quotation is not a facsimile ... it is not desirable to duplicate the original formatting."
Update: I have added "(OK)" above where I believe the topic is closed, except for my question to J. Milburn about the fifth bullet point, above. Prhartcom (talk) 20:07, 9 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Prhartcom, could you help the nom out here, and give him an example of bare URL, from anywhere in this article? A bare URL usually looks like this: Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 10 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Absolutely; although I am changing my mind about avoiding them, as so many references have been added in this older style. While there are advantages to both, it is fine to have a Bare URL reference when it includes helpful information like "Volumes 9 and 10, A&C Black, 2005, p. xxii." Prhartcom (talk) 06:12, 11 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

JM's comments[edit]

  • "He was one of the most important figures in the Scottish Enlightenment, and in the history of Western philosophy." Surely he's still considered one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy?
  • "He is the philosopher who is "widely regarded as the greatest who has ever written in the English language."" I think that's contentious enough that it should be attributed, and only really belongs in the opening line if someone very significant (Betrand Russell may have said something like that, for example) said it, or a lot of people have said it. Right now, it's cited to what's basically a pop philosophy book. (That said, if you are using Bryan Magee, a link wouldn't go amiss!)
  • What do you mean by "cognitive philosophy"? Philosophy of mind, or something more specific? The lack of link is jarring.
  • Technically, we need a cite for the Kant quote in the lead.
  • The fact that Hume was better known as a historian during his life would be a useful addition to the lead. I worry that it doesn't mention anything about his life (like what he did for a living)
  • "He was therefore forced to make a living somehow.[8]" Odd turn of phrase
  • General (but important) note: Please be aware of MOS:LQ. Especially as this article is in a form of British English, this is fairly jarring. I've made fixes as I went along, but I may have missed some and it will be a good thing to know for the future.
  • You don't need to cite dictionary definitions. If the word patrimony is not well known, use a different word or link to the wiktionary entry.
  • I'm not keen on the "pronounced Hume" thing. If you're making a claim about pronunciation, you should really use IPA.
  • Could we have a reference for the first paragraph of "Career"?
  • "He worked for four years on his first major work, A Treatise of Human Nature, subtitled "Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects", completing it in 1738 at the age of 28." The commas don't quite work in this sentence
  • Don't cite the Cambridge Companion directly; you should cite a particular article within it.
  • "who was officially described as a "lunatic"." How can someone be "officially" described as a lunatic?
  • "Canongate Theatre" and "My Own Life" are probably worth linking. Don't be scared of redlinks!
  • "Hume's religious views were often suspect. It was necessary at one time for his friends to avert a trial against him on the charge of heresy. However, he "would not have come and could not be forced to attend if he said he was not a member of the Established Church."[23] Also, perhaps on this account, Hume failed to gain the chair of philosophy at the University of Glasgow." Could we have an indication of dates? Also, a source for the Glasgow thing? Also, if you're not quoting Hume there, perhaps you could say something like "it is suspected that...". Finally, again, if that's an edited collection, you should cite the essay, not the collection.
  • Political Discourses should be linked at first mention, even if it's red
  • "Eventually, with the publication of his six volume The History of England between 1754 and 1762, Hume achieved great literary fame as a historian. The volumes traced events from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688, and was a bestseller in its day." Source?
  • On Superstition and Enthusiasm should be linked. Given that there's a Journal of Hume Studies, I'm going to assume that all his works are notable.
  • "which he called enthusiasts" Why the italics? Quote marks would be more appropriate?
  • "It is likely that Hume was sceptical both about religious belief (at least as demanded by the religious organisations of his time) and of the complete atheism promoted by such contemporaries as Baron d'Holbach." Is this cited to Paul Russell?
  • Do we have an article for Lord Hertford? If he's a Lord, a link seems reasonable.
  • "For a year from 1767, Hume held the appointment of Under Secretary of State for the Northern Department. In 1768 he settled in Edinburgh where he lived, from 1771 until his death in 1776, at the southwest corner of St. Andrew's Square in Edinburgh's New Town, at what is now 21 Saint David Street. (A popular story, consistent with some historical evidence,[38] suggests the street was named after Hume.)" Is this all cited to Mossner, Appendix H?
  • "This meeting was dramatised in semi-fictional form for the BBC by Michael Ignatieff as Dialogue in the Dark" Series, miniseries, film? Worth linking? Finally, is this all on page 591 of Mossner?
  • "Adam Smith later recounted" the Adam Smith? Should be linked!
  • "He also wrote that the science of man" I think you need to spell out what Hume means by "the science of man"; this isn't going to be immediately obvious to readers.
  • "On this aspect of Hume's thought, philosophical historian Frederick Copleston wrote: "Hume's plan is to extend to philosophy in general the methodological limitations of Newtonian physics,"[43]" Do you mean to add more to this sentence?
  • "Understanding the problem of induction is central to grasping Hume's philosophical system." Citation, please!
  • "Hume argues that we tend to believe that things behave in a regular manner, meaning that patterns in the behaviour of objects seem to persist into the future, and throughout the unobserved present. This persistence of regularities is sometimes called Uniformitarianism or the Principle of the Uniformity of Nature." Sources? Also, are those capitals necessary?
  • "Some modern commentators have demurred from Hume's solution," Does your citation say this, or is your cite an example of this? If the latter, you should name those who have disagreed (and you'd need at least two to justify your claim that "some" have)
  • "while, some, such as Kant and Karl Popper, have notably concurred with it, seeing his analysis of our epistemic predicament as a major contribution to the theory of knowledge." Sources, please.
  • "The notion of causation is closely linked to the problem of induction. According to Hume, we reason inductively by associating constantly conjoined events. It is the mental act of association that is the basis of our concept of causation. There are three main interpretations of Hume's theory of causation represented in the literature: (1) the logical positivist; (2) the sceptical realist; and (3) the quasi-realist." Source, please. In particular, I'd like a source which says that these are the "three main interpretations".
  • "Philosopher Angela Coventry writes that, for Hume, "there is nothing in any particular instance of cause and effect involving external objects which suggests the idea of power or necessary connection" and that "we are ignorant of the powers that operate between objects".[56] However, referring to the Law of Causality, Hume himself wrote, "I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause." What I don't like about this section is that you effectively seem to be challenging a secondary source with a primary source. That sounds suspiciously like original research.
  • "On this view, talk about causal necessity is an expression of a functional change in the human mind, whereby certain events are predicted or anticipated on the basis of prior experience. The expression of causal necessity is a "projection" of the functional change onto the objects involved in the causal connection." Source, please.
  • "According to the standard interpretation" Do you have a source (preferably more recent than Ayer) that this is the "standard" reading?
  • "A modern-day version of the bundle theory of the mind has been advanced by Derek Parfit in his Reasons and Persons[61]" Do you have a non-primary source which calls this a modern-day Humean account?
  • "However, some philosophers have criticised Hume's bundle-theory interpretation of personal identity. They argue that distinct selves can have perceptions that stand in relations of similarity and causality with one another. Thus perceptions must already come parcelled into distinct "bundles" before they can be associated according to the relations of similarity and causality. In other words, the mind must already possess a unity that cannot be generated, or constituted, by these relations alone" Is this also cited to Strawson? If not, could sources be added, please? (Also, once again, there's the "some philosophers" point.)
  • "it is suggested" By whom?
  • "Commentators agree" Says who?
  • "he found new problem when" This doesn't make sense
  • "According to his view, Hume is not arguing for a bundle theory, which is a form of reductionism, but rather for an eliminative view of the self. That is, rather than reducing the self to a bundle of perceptions, Hume is rejecting the idea of the self altogether. On this interpretation, Hume is proposing a 'No-Self Theory' and thus has much in common with Buddhist thought" Some wikilinks would be helpful.
  • "Hume's anti-rationalism informed much of his theory of belief and knowledge, in his treatment of the notions of induction, causation, and the external world." Grammatically odd.
  • I don't like the way "neo-Humeanism" is linked to a particular biography.
  • "The major opponents" Cite, please
  • "His views on human motivation and action formed the cornerstone of his ethical theory: he conceived moral or ethical sentiments to be intrinsically motivating, or the providers of reasons for action. Given that one cannot be motivated by reason alone, requiring the input of the passions, Hume argued that reason cannot be behind morality." Cites?
  • "Hume's sentimentalism about morality was shared by his close friend Adam Smith" I'd prefer a secondary source, here (unless Smith specifically says he shares Hume's view), especially to support the "close friend" claim.
  • "For Hutcheson's influence on Hume, see footnote 7." No! Just cite the sources again.
  • "Hume demands that a reason should be given, for inferring from what is the case, what ought to be the case, because it "seems inconceivable" that the latter kinds of proposition can be "a deduction" from the former, "which are entirely different from it"." Difficult to follow- something to do with the commas.
  • "Hume's theory of ethics has been influential in modern day meta-ethical theory," Cite, please.
  • "helping to inspire various forms of emotivism,[79][80] error theory[81] and ethical expressivism and non-cognitivism,[82] as well as Allan Gibbard's general theory of moral judgment and judgments of rationality.[83]" Do the citations specifically refer to Hume as an influence?

Enough for now- more to follow! — Preceding unsigned comment added by J Milburn (talkcontribs) 21:09, 9 December 2014‎ (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • "and his later writings on this subject continue to draw parallels of beauty and deformity in art, with conduct and character." Not well phrased
  • "English and Anglo-Saxon aesthetics" Do you just mean English-language aesthetics
  • It would be helpful if you could expand on what is characteristic of specifically classical compatibalism, as opposed to today's compatibalism.
  • "Australian philosopher John Passmore writes that confusion has arisen because "necessity" has been taken to mean "necessary connexion"" Confusion in Hume scholarship or in the history of the free will debate?
  • "Hume describes the link between causality and our capacity to rationally make a decision from this an inference of the mind. Human beings assess a situation based upon certain predetermined events and from that form a choice. Hume believes that this choice is made spontaneously. Hume calls this form of decision making the liberty of spontaneity." Quotemarks would be helpful here.
  • I don't see the point of the Buridan's ass discussion. That source should really be removed anyway- it's a revision guide, not a genuine scholarly source.
  • "Hume's argument has supported by modern day compatibilists such as R. E. Hobart, a pseudonym of philosopher Dickinson S. Miller.[107][108] However, philosopher P. F. Strawson argued that the issue of whether we hold one another morally responsible does not ultimately depend on the truth or falsity of a metaphysical thesis such as determinism. This is because our so holding one another is a non-rational human sentiment that is not predicated on such theses.[109][110]" This could be better. Does Strawson engage with Hume specifically? (I'm sure he will somewhere.)
  • "Hume "wrote forcefully and incisively on almost every central question in the philosophy of religion." His "various writings concerning problems of religion are among the most important and influential contributions on this topic."" Who are you quoting, here? Why the direct quotes?
  • I'm not keen on the reliance on Britannica. Stanford is OK in moderation, but quoting Britannica seems less than ideal.
  • "In this connection, Philosopher Louise. E. Loeb notes that "we observe neither God nor other universes, and hence no conjunction involving them. There is no observed conjunction to ground an inference either to extended objects or to God, as unobserved causes."[115]" What does this have to do with Hume?
  • "A century later, the idea of order without design was rendered more plausible by Charles Darwin's discovery that the adaptations of the forms of life are a result of the natural selection of inherited characteristics.[114]" Again, I'm not clear how this links to Hume?
  • "Hume discusses everyday belief as often resulting from probability. We believe an event that has frequently occurred is likely to occur again, but we also take into account those instances where the event did not occur." Unclear
  • Do you really need all that discussion of miracles? There seems to be a disproportionate focus on Hume's philosophy of religion.
  • "of immense sweep" ??
  • What do you mean by the "importance of moderation" in the political theory section? And is that a second central concern?
  • "This outlook needs to be seen within the historical context" Inappropriate tone
  • Why is the utilitarianism sidebar in the politics section? I note that utilitarianism is not mentioned in the actual article.
  • "Hume was also, in general, an optimist about social progress, believing that, thanks to the economic development that comes with the expansion of trade, societies progress from a state of "barbarism" to one of "civilisation". Civilised societies are open, peaceful and sociable, and their citizens are, as a result, much happier. It is therefore not fair to characterise him, as English author Leslie Stephen did, as favouring "that stagnation which is the natural ideal of a sceptic."[150]" Original research.

I've not gone through the sources in detail, but I do note some problems; revision guides and Britannica should probably be filtered out, and in several places, you cite whole anthologies rather than the particular essay in the anthology. Right now, I do not feel that the article is ready for GA status. In addition to the sourcing problem, occasional patchy writing and the disproportionate focus on the philosophy of religion, there seem to be a number of examples of unverified claims, as well as (most problematically) what seems to be a moderate amount of original research. While the article certainly isn't poor, I do think it could be a lot better. J Milburn (talk) 17:11, 13 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I am very disappointed that, after all this work, from two reviewers, you do not feel this is a good article. Please will you list where exactly it differs from the GA criteria. I am not interested any more in people's opinions about patchy writing or whether it could be a lot better. If it isn't ready after carrying out these latest changes, then what is the point of me doing them? It's about time I gave up on this foolish procedure. I shall carry out what I consider to be real GAC changes - sources and perhaps clarity. The rest I'll leave to someone else. If Prhartcom, who is the real reviewer, thinks that he needs to fail this article again, then let him do it now. I am sick to death of it! Myrvin (talk) 19:40, 13 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've done the sources and clarity and removed the OR. I can't see where there are unchanged "unverified claims". That's what I've been fixing for ages. For GA purposes, it is irrelevant that you do not like Britannica - it is a valid reliable source. It is also irrelevant that you think the article "could be a lot better". Why can't reviewers stick to the good article criteria? Myrvin (talk) 20:29, 13 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that's a pretty disappointing response. As you asked... The GA criteria specifically require that an article is based on reliable sources, and our guideline states that "Tertiary sources such as compendia, encyclopedias, introductory textbooks, obituaries, and other summarizing sources are helpful for overviews or summaries, and in evaluating due weight, but should not be used in place of secondary sources for detailed discussion." Our guidelines are (and, frankly, any sensible academic style guide will be) clear about how and when it is appropriate to use the likes of Britannica, so it isn't fair for you to dismiss my comments as being about some kind of personal distaste. Further, the GA criteria specifically require "clear and concise" prose, so "patchy writing" is definitely a reason to stop an article being promoted. And, again, the GA criteria specifically require that there is no original research and that potentially controversial claims are supported by reliable sources. I pointed out several instances of what seems to be OR (or at least unverified claims). My claim was that, at the time I read the article, it was not ready for GA status. If you are (or were) able to quickly deal with these issues, then my comment no longer applies. J Milburn (talk) 21:12, 13 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can understand your your response, Myrvin; after all, I rescued this review because I felt bad that you had worked so hard on the previous review before it hit a wall, and didn't want you to give up. I felt you were the best person to improve this article. I have seen how hard you worked on this new review. Then, not one but two reviewers start judging you, and the second reviewer starts sounding like the last reviewer! That has to be frustrating. On the other hand, I respect J Milburn a great deal. He has reviewed me. Yes, he was tough when he reviewed my work. I survived though. I knew of his well-deserved reputation and I remained respectful. I stuck with it because I wanted the article to be the best it could be. I believe you also want this article to be the best it can be. As you know, getting the article right is more important than the feelings of any one of us.
I believe I have a solution. First, let's agree that this is going to be accomplished: We are going to stay committed and refuse to give up. Second, let's admit (grudgingly) that, while we know there is light at the end of the tunnel, this is going to take slightly longer than we thought. And third: Your request is absolutely valid: You want to know where exactly the article in its current state differs from the GA criteria. You want to know this so that you can see how much work remains. Well, you will know this after the following takes place: Find the energy to through J Milburn's comments and sincerely try to solve each of his points that he raised. Once you do, he will strike out the points that you solved, and the good feelings will return, I promise, as you see your goal getting closer. Before long, you will resolve all the issues and the article will receive its GA. Prhartcom (talk) 02:40, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Myrvin gives up[edit]

No! I'm not playing this absurd game anymore. P should fail the article now, and I will have nothing more to do with it. I have spent hours and hours and hours on this GA thing, and it turns out to be a complete waste of time. I should have given up last time. I will never do it again, and I advise anyone else not to do a GAN as well. If you don't want to fail it, tell me how to withdraw my nomination and I'll do that. Myrvin (talk) 08:08, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry for you, but it seems the enWP is still rather close to the German system. One of the Reasons I want to have GA style behavior out of DYK. Serten II (talk) 15:26, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Myrvin, I am sorry you feel this way. On a topic as broad and important as Hume, writing a GA is going to be particularly difficult (though it is certainly doable). I've never taken on a topic this significant, but I have reviewed/helped with articles on major topics. I do worry, though, that what we have here is not so much a failure of the GA process (Serten, I am afraid I do not follow what you are saying, but I assume it is something to do with that?) but exasperation on your part that even with all the good work you have done with this article, there are still people who feel it is not ready for GA status. Those are very different things. J Milburn (talk) 17:18, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
J Milburn, I noticed on the article talk page that it's rated as a C-class article. With the considerable improvements, would you say that it now meets the B-class criteria? BlueMoonset (talk) 18:29, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I would say that this is a B-class article. J Milburn (talk) 19:42, 14 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article does not currently contain mention of Humeanism, minimal Humeanism, Anti-Humeanism, and other related topics of interest to philosophers, particularly those interested in quantum mechanics. Since several such philosophers are notable enough to be included in WP (which can be verified by searching WP), and since Humeanism is a relevant aspect of QM research today (example citation: Australasian Journal of Philosophy), I hope that someone knowledgeable would add a short overview to this article soon, and at least the stub of an article on the subject. David Spector (talk) 16:42, 16 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I noticed that the template in the Political Theory section was changed from Liberalism to Conservatism overnight and there did not seem to be much of a discussion in the Talk page. Since Hume seems to have traits of both liberalism and conservatism, perhaps it is best to remove the template altogether and add both Liberalism and Conservatism to his main interests. Here is the revision in question.

Supilusikas (talk) 09:26, 28 October 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That sounds like something someone from the US would do. They use the words "conservative" and "liberal" in strange ways there. Corrupt Cactus (talk) 00:28, 20 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


David Hume (/hjuːm/; born David Home; 7 May 1711 NS (26 April 1711 OS) – 25 August 1776)[10] was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, librarian[11] and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism.[1] Beginning with A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), Hume strove to create a naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge derives solely from experience. This places him with Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and George Berkeley as a British Empiricist.[12] (talk) 04:32, 24 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Effect of Hume's views on slavery sentence[edit]

The article states that Hume's 'views served to reinforce the institution of racialised slavery in the later 18th century'. I know that this is a quote from an academic, however it seems empty without explaining how Hume's ideas "reinforced" slavery. I find it quite unlikely that Hume's philosophy had any impact on the "reinforcing" of atlantic slavery, which had been an established institution for over 200 years. Knoterification (talk) 05:45, 5 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I read the article, which is by an expert on Hume. He is not referring to Hume's philosophy pe se, but his comment that 'negroes are naturally inferior to whites'. However the author does not say how this view of Hume's (hardly uncommon at the time) actually had any effect on slavery. A plausible mechanism would be if, for example, the opponents of abolition cited the great David Hume in their defence, and this was effective. But the author does not say that, so we are left in the dark. The writer also seems to confuse the slave trade with slavery, saying Hume was involved in the former by way of encouraging his patron to buy a slave plantation, which is just lazy. The two are - and were seen as - distinct, hence the different abolition dates. It would not surprise me if the claim about Hume's views affecting slavery was just as dubious. But what do we do? he is an expert. Note: I edited your comment because the title you gave it was way too long. LastDodo (talk) 11:50, 23 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]