Through textual and contextual analysis, I show for Hume public credit brings catastrophic results because men are knaves, systematically biased, and unlucky. Public credit is an appropriate institution to stimulate the economy only if men are perfect and perfectly predictable. But they are not. For Hume, considering the worst-case rather than the best-case helps prevent potential disasters.
Leaving aside his Enquiries, 1 which were widely read then as now, Hume is known today chiefly through his Treatise of Human Nature 2 and his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.
DAVID HUME’S greatness was recognized in his own time, as it is today, but the writings that made Hume famous are not, by and large, the same ones that support his reputation now. Leaving aside his Enquiries, which were widely read then as now, Hume is known today chiefly through his Treatise of Human Nature [ ]. EDITOR’S NOTE. This new edition of Hume’s Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary is based on the edition of The edition is the copy-text of choice, for, while it appeared posthumously, it contains Hume’s latest corrections. John Christian Laursen and Greg Coolidge Hume's essay of , "Of Public Credit, " was devoted entirely to criticism of the public debt (Essays, ).
The preparation and revision of his essays occupied Hume throughout his adult life. In his late twenties, after completing three books of the Treatise, Hume began to publish essays on moral and political themes. Inthree additional essays appeared in a small volume published in Edinburgh and London.
InHume issued a large number of new essays under the title Political Discourses, a work so successful that a second edition was published before the year was out, and a third in Volume 1 of this collection contains the Essays, Moral and Political and Volume 4 —54 contains the Political Discourses.
The two Enquiries are reprinted in Volumes 2 and 3.
Hume retained the title Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects for subsequent editions of his collected works, but he varied the format and contents somewhat. A new, one-volume edition appeared under this title inand other four-volume editions in and Two-volume editions appeared in, and Several new essays, as well as other writings, were added to this collection along the way.
He worked on them continually from about until his death, in Nineteen of these date back to the two original volumes of Essays, Moral and Political — Bythese essays from the original volumes would have gone through eleven editions. Twenty essays were added along the way, eight were deleted, and two would await posthumous publication.
Though gravely ill inHume made arrangements Edition: One possibility was to say to him: Allow me a little time, that I may see how the Public receives the alterations. Jessop lists sixteen editions or reprintings of Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects that appeared between and Longmans, Green and Co.
David Hume on Public Credit avid Hume publishes a critical essay on public credit in His as- D sault against debt is dramatic: «[E]ither the nation must destroy public credit, or public credit will destroy the nation» (Hume , ). (3) David Hume's Essays Moral, Political and Literary Around , after the publication of his Treatise, David Hume began writing a series of shorter essays on specific economic, political, literary and philosophical topics. Abstract. In his essay Of Public Credit, David Hume argues against the institutionalization of public credit. Contrary to what is commonly believed, I claim Hume’s analysis of public credit is sound and it is an example of his worst-case thinking.
These bibliographical details are important because they show how highly the essays were regarded by Hume himself and by many others up to the present century.
Some of the essays have been included in various collections, 14 but, leaving aside the present edition, no Edition: The essays are elegant and entertaining in style, but thoroughly philosophical in temper and content.
They elaborate those sciences—morals, politics, and criticism—for which the Treatise of Human Nature lays a foundation. It was not simply a desire for fame that led Hume to abandon the Treatise and seek a wider audience for his thought.
He acted in the belief that commerce between men of letters and men of the world worked to the benefit of both.
Hume thought that philosophy Edition: It was the text used by T. The present edition contains material that was not in the edition of the Essays: Unless otherwise noted, these materials are reprinted here as they appear in Green and Grose and, unlike the Essays proper, Edition: A close comparison of their edition with that of shows, however, that it falls far short of the standards of accuracy that are adopted today in critical-text editing.
At least 25 typographical errors in the edition are corrected silently by Green and Grose, who also corrected some of the Greek passages.
Textual Notations Three types of notational symbols appear in the present text. A superscript arabic numeral indicates a footnote.
In the Essays, Hume ranges far beyond the great works of philosophy into every area of scholarship. One finds abundant evidence of his reading in the Greek and Latin classics as well as of his familiarity with the literary works of the important English, French, Italian, and Spanish authors.
He knew the important treatises on natural science, and he investigated the modern writings on political economy.EDITOR’S NOTE. This new edition of Hume’s Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary is based on the edition of The edition is the copy-text of choice, for, while it appeared posthumously, it contains Hume’s latest corrections.
The Online Library of Liberty A Project Of Liberty Fund, Inc. David Hume,Essays Moral, Political, Literary (LF ed.)  The Online Library Of Liberty This E-Book (PDF format) is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., a .
Source: David Hume, Essays Moral, Political, Literary, edited and with a Foreword, Notes, and Glossary by Eugene F. Miller, with an appendix of variant readings from the edition by T.H. Green and T.H. Grose, revised edition (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund ). DAVID HUME Selected Essays.
CONTENTS Introduction Note on the Text Select Bibliography Chronology SELECTED ESSAYS Of Essay Writing Of the Middle Station of Life Of the Delicacy of Taste and Passion That Politics may be Reduced to a Science Of Public Credit Of Some Remarkable Customs Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations.
Insecurity of the British funds: Essay on public credit: by David Hume : with observations on the sound and prophetic nature of its principles: shewing from indisputable facts, that a perseverance in the Pitt and paper system must eventually produce a national bankruptcy.
In his essay Of Public Credit, David Hume argues against the institutionalization of public credit. Contrary to what is commonly believed, I claim Hume’s analysis of public credit is sound and it is an example of his worst-case thinking.