David Hume

David Hume

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Death 25 Aug 1776 (aged 65)
Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Burial Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Memorial ID 1894 · View Source
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Philosopher, Author, Noted Atheist. David Hume attended the University of Edinburgh at an early age. At around 18, he claimed to have made a philosophical discovery that drove him to spend years reading and writing. He worked for four years on his first major work, “A Treatise of Human Nature,” completing it in 1738 at the age of 28. Some today consider the Treatise to be his most important work and one of the most important books in Western philosophy, but critics in Great Britain at the time did not, and it did not sell well. In an attempt to make this work better known, he anonymously published “An Abstract of a Book lately Published” as a summary of the main doctrines of the Treatise. He published “Essays Moral and Political” in 1741, which was included in the later edition called “Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary.” In 1745, he began a career as a librarian at the University of Edinburgh. His time there, and the access to research materials it provided, allowed him to begin to write what would eventually be published as “The History of England.” From 1746, he served for three years as secretary to General James St Clair, envoy to the courts of Turin and Vienna. At that time, he wrote the anti-religious “Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding,” later published as “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding.” His atheistic religious views sometimes interfered with his career, such as when he failed to gain the chair of philosophy at the University of Glasgow. He next published a volume called “Political Discourses,” written in 1749. He achieved fame from his best-selling six-volume “The History of England”, published between 1754 and 1762, which traces events from the invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution of 1688. The series is more than a million words long, and was considered the standard history of England at the time. From 1763 to 1771, he served in a variety of government positions - at the British embassy in Paris, working for the British Secretary of State, as the Under Secretary of State for the Northern Department, and in James' Court in Edinburgh. He lived until his death at the southwest corner of St. Andrew's Square in Edinburgh's New Town. In 1776, he wrote an extremely brief autobiographical essay titled "My Own Life". In his will he asked that his body be interred in a "simple Roman tomb", and that it be inscribed only with his name and the year of his birth and death.

Bio by: Pete Mohney

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1894
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for David Hume (26 Apr 1711–25 Aug 1776), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1894, citing Old Calton Cemetery, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland ; Maintained by Find A Grave .