David Hume Quotes

Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority

This was the general characteristics expected of men who were gentlemen—the politicians, scholars, military officers—the upper and upper middle classes. This behavior was almost an ethical obligation in Britain at the time. There have been times where the members of Congress behaved with this comity, but by the end of the 20th century such notions of behavior almost seemed quaint.
David Hume
David Hume
  • Born: May 7, 1711
  • Died: August 25, 1776
  • Nationality: Scottish
  • Profession: Philosopher

David Hume was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, skepticism, and naturalism. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist. Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature (1739), Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge is founded solely in experience.