David Hume Famous Quotes & Sayings

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Top 100 David Hume Quotes

#1. It is harder to avoid censure than to gain applause; for this may be done by one great or wise action in an age. But to escape censure a man must pass his whole life without saying or doing one ill or foolish thing - Author: David Hume
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#2. The first ideas of religion arose, not from contemplation of the works of nature, but from a concern with regard to the events of life. - Author: David Hume
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#3. Truth is disputable, not human taste. - Author: David Hume
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#4. We may observe that, in displaying the praises of any humane, beneficent man, there is one circumstance which never fails to be amply insisted on, namely, the happiness and satisfaction, derived to society from his intercourse and good offices. - Author: David Hume
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#5. If refined sense, and exalted sense, be not so useful as common sense, their rarity, their novelty, and the nobleness of their objects, make some compensation, and render them the admiration of mankind. - Author: David Hume
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#6. An infinite number of real parts of time, passing in succession, and exhausted one after another, appears so evident a contradiction, that no man, one should think, whose judgement is not corrupted, instead of being improved, by the sciences, would ever be able to admit of it. - Author: David Hume
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#7. There is only one vice, which may be found in life with as strong features, and as high a colouring as needs be employed by any satyrist or comic poet; and that is AVARICE. - Author: David Hume
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#8. I resolved to make a very rigid frugality supply my deficiency of fortune, to maintain unimpaired my independency, and to regard every object as contemptible except the improvement of my talents in literature. - Author: David Hume
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#9. Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent actions. Reason of itself is utterly impotent in this particular. The rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason. - Author: David Hume
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#10. Curiosity, or the love of knowledge, has a very limited influence, and requires youth, leisure education, genius and example to make it govern any person - Author: David Hume
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#11. Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them - Author: David Hume
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#12. In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. - Author: David Hume
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#13. What we call a mind is nothing but a heap or collection of different perceptions, united together by certain relations and supposed, though falsely, to be endowed with a perfect simplicity and identity. - Author: David Hume
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#14. Such a superiority do the pursuits of literature possess above every other occupation, that even he who attains but a mediocrity in them, merits the pre-eminence above those that excel the most in the common and vulgar professions. - Author: David Hume
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#15. Nothing is more usual than for philosophers to encroach upon the province of grammarians; and to engage in disputes of words, while they imagine that they are handling controversies of the deepest importance and concern. - Author: David Hume
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#16. When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities. - Author: David Hume
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#17. Nothing is more dangerous to reason than the flights of the imagination and nothing has been the occasion of more mistakes among philosophers. - Author: David Hume
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#18. Barbarity, caprice; these qualities, however nominally disguised, we may universally observe from the ruling character of the deity in all regular religions. - Author: David Hume
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#19. The simplest and most obvious cause which can there be assigned for any phenomena, is probably the true one. - Author: David Hume
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#20. It is not reason which is the guide of life, but custom. - Author: David Hume
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#21. All power, even the most despotic, rests ultimately on opinion. - Author: David Hume
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#22. [A person's] utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature's productions, either for beauty or value. - Author: David Hume
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#23. Never literary attempt was more unfortunate than my Treatise of Human Nature. It fell dead-born from the press. - Author: David Hume
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#24. It is a certain rule that wit and passion are entirely incompatible. When the affections are moved, there is no place for the imagination. - Author: David Hume
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#25. Hume argued powerfully that human reason is fundamentally similar to that of the other animals, founded on instinct rather than quasi-divine insight into things. - Author: David Hume
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#26. He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper; but he Is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance. - Author: David Hume
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#27. God is an ever-present spirit guiding all that happens to a wise and holy end. - Author: David Hume
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#28. It is still open for me, as well as you, to regulate my behavior, by my experience of past events. - Author: David Hume
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#29. When I turn my eye inward, I find nothing but doubt and ignorance. All the world conspires to oppose and contradict me; though such is my weakness, that I feel all my opinions loosen and fall of themselves, when unsupported by the approbation of others. - Author: David Hume
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#30. Truth springs from argument amongst friends. - Author: David Hume
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#31. A CAUSE is an object precedent and contiguous to another, and so united with it that the idea of the one determines the mind to form the idea of the other, and the impression of the one to form a more lively idea of the other. - Author: David Hume
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#32. When we reflect on our past sentiments and affections, our thought is a faithful mirror, and copies its objects truly; but the colours which it employs are faint and dull, in comparison of those in which our original perceptions were clothed. - Author: David Hume
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#33. Manufacturers ... gradually shift their places, leaving those countries and provinces which they have already enriched, and flying to others, whether they are allured by the cheapness of provisions and labour. - Author: David Hume
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#34. Rousseau was mad but influential; Hume was sane but had no followers. - Author: David Hume
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#35. A little philosophy makes a man an Atheist: a great deal converts him to religion - Author: David Hume
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#36. All knowledge degenerates into probability. - Author: David Hume
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#37. If morality had naturally no influence on human passions and actions, it were in vain to take such pains to inculcate it; and nothing would be more fruitless than that multitude of rules and precepts with which all moralists abound. - Author: David Hume
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#38. There is no craving or demand of the human mind more constant and insatiable than that for exercise and employment, and this desire seems the foundation of most of our passions and pursuits. - Author: David Hume
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#39. Scholastic learning and polemical divinity retarded the growth of all true knowledge. - Author: David Hume
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#40. It were better, never to look beyond the present material world. By supposing it to contain the principle of its order within itself, we really assert it to be God; and the sooner we arrive at that divinity, the better. - Author: David Hume
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#41. If God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good, whence evil? If God wills to prevent evil but cannot, then He is not omnipotent. If He can prevent evil but does not, then he is not good. In either case he is not God. - Author: David Hume
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#42. A body of ten ounces raised in any scale may serve as a proof, that the counterbalancing weight exceeds ten ounces; but can never afford a reason that it exceeds a hundred. - Author: David Hume
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#43. Nothing is pure and entire of a piece. All advantages are attended with disadvantages. A universal compensation prevails in all conditions of being and existence. - Author: David Hume
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#44. What would become of history, had we not a dependence on the veracity of the historian, according to the experience, what we have had of mankind? - Author: David Hume
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#45. The stability of modern governments above the ancient, and the accuracy of modern philosophy, have improved, and probably will still improve, by similar gradations. - Author: David Hume
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#46. In the sphere of natural investigation, as in poetry and painting, the delineation of that which appeals most strongly to the imagination, derives its collective interest from the vivid truthfulness with which the individual features are portrayed. - Author: David Hume
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#47. Courage, of all national qualities, is the most precarious; because it is exerted only at intervals, and by a few in every nation; whereas industry, knowledge, civility, may be of constant and universal use, and for several ages, may become habitual to the whole people. - Author: David Hume
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#48. Liberty of any kind is never lost all at once. - Author: David Hume
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#49. We need only reflect on what has been prov'd at large, that we are never sensible of any connexion betwixt causes and effects, and that 'tis only by our experience of their constant conjunction, we can arrive at any knowledge of this relation. - Author: David Hume
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#50. That I am ready to throw all of my books and papers into the fire, and resolve never more to renounce the pleasure of life for the sake of reasoning and philosophy. - Author: David Hume
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#51. The sceptics assert, though absurdly, that the origin of all religious worship was derived from the utility of inanimate objects,as the sun and moon, to the support and well-being of mankind. - Author: David Hume
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#52. It is an absurdity to believe that the Deity has human passions, and one of the lowest of human passions, a restless appetite for applause - Author: David Hume
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#53. It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place ... it's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood. - Author: David Hume
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#54. In a vain man, the smallest spark may kindle into the greatest flame, because the materials are always prepared for it. - Author: David Hume
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#55. Nothing appears more surprizing to those, who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few; and the implicit submission, with which men resign their own sentiments and passions to those of their rulers. - Author: David Hume
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#56. It is possible for the same thing both to be and not to be. - Author: David Hume
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#57. We make allowance for a certain degree of selfishness in men; because we know it to be inseparable from human nature, and inherent in our frame and constitution. By this reflexion we correct those sentiments of blame, which so naturally arise upon any opposition. - Author: David Hume
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#58. The bigotry of theologians [is] a malady which seems almost incurable. - Author: David Hume
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#59. Of all sciences there is none where first appearances are more deceitful than in politics. - Author: David Hume
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#60. Happy the man whom indulgent fortune allows to pay to virtue what he owes to nature, and to make a generous gift of what must otherwise be ravished from him by cruel necessity. - Author: David Hume
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#61. Beauty, whether moral or natural, is felt, more properly than perceived. - Author: David Hume
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#62. The religious hypothesis, therefore, must be considered only as a particular method of accounting for the visible phenomena of the universe: but no just reasoner will ever presume to infer from it any single fact, and alter or add to the phenomena, in any single particular. - Author: David Hume
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#63. I never asserted such an absurd thing as that things arise without a cause. - Author: David Hume
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#64. Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding. - Author: David Hume
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#65. Philosophy would render us entirely Pyrrhonian, were not nature too strong for it. - Author: David Hume
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#66. The essential passions of the heart have found a better soil in which it may attain it's maturity; remain under less restraint and extended into it's natural state - Author: David Hume
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#67. But I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit of so signal a violation of the laws of nature - Author: David Hume
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#68. We learn the influence of our will from experience alone. And experience only teaches us, how one event constantly follows another; without instructing us in the secret connexion, which binds them together, and renders them inseparable. - Author: David Hume
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#69. Moving from an objective statement of fact to a subjective statement of value does not work, because it leaves open questions that have not been answered. - Author: David Hume
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#70. This question depends upon the definition of the word, Nature, than which there is none more ambiguous and equivocal. - Author: David Hume
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#71. Judgments. A mistake, therefore, of right may become a species - Author: David Hume
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#72. Human Nature is the only science of man; and yet has been hitherto the most neglected. - Author: David Hume
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#73. [priests are] the pretenders to power and dominion, and to a superior sanctity of character, distinct from virtue and good morals. - Author: David Hume
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#74. But to proceed in this reconciling project with regard to the question of liberty and necessity; the most contentious question of metaphysics, the most contentious science ... - Author: David Hume
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#75. Nothing exists without a cause, the original cause of this universe we call God. - Author: David Hume
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#76. It affords a violent prejudice against almost every science, that no prudent man, however sure of his principles, dares prophesy concerning any event, or foretell the remote consequences of things. - Author: David Hume
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#77. In this sullen apathy neither true wisdom nor true happiness can be found. - Author: David Hume
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#78. I cannot but bless the memory of Julius Caesar, for the great esteem he expressed for fat men and his aversion to lean ones. - Author: David Hume
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#79. Such is the nature of novelty that where anything pleases it becomes doubly agreeable if new; but if it displeases, it is doubly displeasing on that very account. - Author: David Hume
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#80. What is easy and obvious is never valued; and even what is in itself difficult, if we come to knowledge of it without difficulty, and without and stretch of thought or judgment, is but little regarded. - Author: David Hume
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#81. Convulsions in nature, disorders, prodigies, miracles, though the most opposite of the plan of a wise superintendent, impress mankind with the strongest sentiments of religion. - Author: David Hume
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#82. It is certain that the easy and obvious philosophy will always, with the generality of mankind, have preference above the accurate. - Author: David Hume
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#83. Poets themselves, tho' liars by profession, always endeavour to give an air of truth to their fictions ... - Author: David Hume
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#84. A delicacy of taste is favorable to love and friendship, by confining our choice to few people, and making us indifferent to the company and conversation of the greater part of men. - Author: David Hume
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#85. Men are much oftener thrown on their knees by the melancholy than by the agreeable passions. - Author: David Hume
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#86. I have written on all sorts of subjects ... yet I have no enemies; except indeed all the Whigs, all the Tories, and all the Christians. - Author: David Hume
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#87. Jealousy is a painful passion; yet without some share of it, the agreeable affection of love has difficulty to subsist in its full force and violence. - Author: David Hume
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#88. The corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst. - Author: David Hume
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#89. The mention of one apartment in a building naturally introduces an enquiry or discourse concerning the others: and if we think ofa wound, we can scarcely forbear reflecting on the pain which follows it. - Author: David Hume
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#90. In public affairs men are often better pleased that the truth, though known to everybody, should be wrapped up under a decent cover than if it were exposed in open daylight to the eyes of all the world. - Author: David Hume
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#91. Interest is the barometer of the state ... - Author: David Hume
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#92. Be a philosopher; but, amidst all your philosophy, be still a man. - Author: David Hume
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#93. All general maxims in politics ought to be established with great caution; and that irregular and extraordinary appearances are frequently discovered in the moral, as well as in the physical world - Author: David Hume
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#94. A man acquainted with history may, in some respect, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century. - Author: David Hume
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#95. Of the world and drudgery of business , seeks a pretense of reason to give itself a full and uncontrolled indulgence. - Author: David Hume
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#96. The rules of morality are not the conclusion of our reason. - Author: David Hume
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#97. The feelings of our heart, the agitation of our passions, the vehemence of our affections, dissipate all its conclusions, and reduce the profound philosopher to a mere plebeian - Author: David Hume
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#98. No truth appears to me more evident than that beasts are endowed with thought and reason as well as men. - Author: David Hume
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#99. Tis not unreasonable for me to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. - Author: David Hume
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#100. That which renders morality an active principle and constitutes virtue our happiness, and vice our misery: it is probable, I say, that this final sentence depends on some internal sense or feeling, which nature has made universal in the whole species. - Author: David Hume
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