Birthplace Edinburgh, Scotland.
Posts Held Tutor, 1745; Diplomat, 1746, 1763-6; Keeper, Advocate's Library, Edinburgh, 1752; Under-Secretary State, Home Dept., 1767-8.
Publications Books: 1. A Treatise on Human Nature (1739-40, 1958, 1969); 2. Essays Moral and Political , 2 vols (1741-2, 1912, 1963); 3. An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748); 4. Political Discourses (1752); 5. History of England , 3 vols (1754-62, 1894); 6. Writings on Economics , ed. E. Rotwein (1955).
Career Primarily known as a philosopher, he also wrote substantial histories, and in his essays dealt with political, sociological and economic topics. All these fields were illuminated by his basic philosophy which involved the analysis of human nature and the examination of the way in which environmental forces act on that nature to produce particular forms of behaviour. The economic essays chiefly deal with money, trade and taxes and have a quality that still makes them refreshing to read. On such topics as monetary theory, international trade and population growth, he was not equalled even by Adam Smith, a close friend on whom he had an enormous influence.
Secondary Literature E. C. Mossner, Life of David Hume (Univ. Texas Press, 1954); E. Rotwein, `Hume, David', International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences , D. L. Sills (ed.) (Macmillan and Free Press, 1968), vol 6.