Book Notes: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume

Characteristics: (where 1 is bad and 5 is superb)

  • Interestingness: 3
  • Subject Matter: 5
  • Organization: 3
  • Binding: 3
  • Writing Quality: 4

David Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is a classic in the field of philosophy, and more specifically, epistemology. The questions and thoughts of the book revolve around the question "How do know what we know." Hume is concerned with the role of experience in human knowledge and how observations of cause and effect shape our understanding (and the and uncertainty of this knowledge). Hume is, any way you slice it, a skeptic in regard to our powers of empirical observation. Hume is in many ways foundational to Kant, who is foundational to (or at least signficant to) just about everyone else in the western philosophical tradition.

It is actually very difficult to argue with the skepticism of Hume. The book is well done, and certainly worth the read. This is especially true if you have much interest in philosophy. The section on Miracles I thought was well done, though I do come to a different conclusion than Hume. But he does make some very interesing and significant points.