The Pursuits of Philosophy - An Introduction to the Life and Thought of David Hume by Annette C Baier
Famous in Christian Britain as a polymath and a nonbeliever, Hume recounts how his early encounters with clerical authority laid the foundation for his lifelong skepticism toward religion. In Scotland, where he grew up, he had been forced to study lists of sins in order to spot his own childish flaws, he reports. Later, as a young man, he witnessed the clergy's punishment of a pregnant unmarried servant, and this led him to question the violent consequences of the Church's emphasis on the doctrine of original sin. Annette Baier's clear interpretation of Hume's Treatise on Human Nature' explains the link between Hume's growing disillusionment and his belief that ethics should be based on investigations of human nature, not on religious dogma. Four months before he died, Hume concluded his autobiography with a eulogy he wrote for his own funeral. It makes no mention of his flaws, critics, or disappointments. Baier's more realistic account rivets our attention on connections between the way Hume lived and the way he thought - insights unavailable to Hume himself, perhaps, despite his lifelong introspection.
This 2011 hardback edition published by Harvard University Press is in good condition. The binding is sound and the pages are clean and unmarked. The back cloth hard cover has a small circular mark on it which has transposed to the inner of the dustjacket. The top and bottom of the spine are slightly bumped and the dustjacket itself has a few minor scratches, there is also a small dent on the bottom of the back cover.