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David Hume, the European philosopher: a middle-aged white man in a fancy red top.

David Hume, the European philosopher

So David Hume died of cancer in 1776 AD, just as Americans were writing the Declaration of Independence. Hume’s ideas had a huge effect on the Declaration of Independence, but he would probably have disagreed with Thomas Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers on some points too. What might Hume have approved of in the Declaration of Independence? What might he have disapproved of?

You might want to also take a look at the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. What would Hume think of those?

Where do you yourself stand on these questions? With Hume, with Jefferson, or is there some third position you think is better? Why?

More about David Hume

More about the Declaration of Independence

Bibliography and further reading about Hume:


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