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David Hume

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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Birth in Edinburgh1711
University of EdinburghHume attended the University of Edinburgh but did not receive a degree there.
Law and BankingHume worked for a while in law and banking.
Travel FranceHume traveled in France for a long while, and it was there that he did much work on A Treatise of Human Nature.
Treatise of Human Nature1740David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature was published in 1740. Scarcely anyone bothered to read nor comment on the large, deep and clearly time-intensive book. It was a big disappointment for Hume.
mid-1740sHume was declined for a Chair of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh.
Private TutorAs was common for someone in his position, Hume took private employment as a tutor for a wealthy family.
1748-1752Hume finished two smaller books called Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding and Inquiry Concerning Principles of Moral, which mostly rehashed the Treatise.
1752Hume was turned down again for a Chair of Philosophy, this time at the University of Glasgow.
History of Englandmid-1750sHume's big break came when he published his long, multi-volume History of England. He attained fame as a historian and public intellectual, but not so much as a philosopher.
Flourishing Career1750sHume always paid attention to religion, on which he had unconventional views. There were attempts in the 1750s in Edinburgh to take legal proceedings against him for his unconventional religious views. Nonetheless he flourished in the 1750s and 1760s until his death.
Dialogues1779Three years after his death, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion was published. Likely this delay was because it dealt with sensitive religious issues.