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David Hume, British philosopher and historian

David Hume, British philosopher and historian

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Credit

GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GEORGE BERNARD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

David Hume. Engraving of David Hume (1711-76), British philosopher and historian who influenced the development of scepticism and empiricism. Hume rejected the idea of causality, claiming that one event would not necessarily lead to another; events were linked only by the imagination of the observer rather than by reason. In effect, Hume was rejecting scientific laws which state that one action necessarily produces another in a predictable manner. As an historian, Hume broke with tradition by explaining the intellectual and economic reasons behind events rather than just describing the events in a strictly chronological order. Engraving published between 1833-1837.

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