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p. lxiSelect Bibliographylocked

  • Published in print: 10 July 2008
  • Published online: 16 December 2020

My 2002 collection, Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry (OUP) contains a sixty-page ‘Critical Survey of the Literature on Hume and the First Enquiry’ (pp.13-74), summarizing and discussing around 250 selected books and papers, all organized according to the relevant topics. There is also a Web version of this Critical Survey at together with other relevant resources. Hence this small bibliography makes no attempt to identify specialist treatments of particular topics from the Enquiry.

Hume’s Life and the Intellectual Background

  • MossnerE. C., The Life of David Hume (OUP, 2nd edn. 1980) is the standard biography.
  • GribbinJohn, Science: A History (Penguin, 2002), chs. 1–5 cover the development of science from Copernicus to Newton.
  • CraigEdward, The Mind of God and the Works of Man (OUP, 1987), chs. 1–2 suggest that Hume’s primary aim was to oppose a widespread view of reason as ‘the Image of God’.
  • Books on the Enquiry

  • MillicanPeter, Reading Hume on Human Understanding: Essays on the First Enquiry (OUP, 2002) contains a general overview of the Enquiry, followed by papers from noted Hume scholars on each of its main sections. The papers are also summarized in an introduction.
  • PenelhumTerence, David Hume: An Introduction to his Philosophical System (Purdue University Press, 1992) includes selections from the Enquiry, together with helpful commentary.
  • BuckleStephen, Hume’s Enlightenment Tract (OUP, 2001) is devoted to the Enquiry, giving historical background and a significantly different perspective from that presented here.
  • FlewAntony, Hume’s Philosophy of Belief (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961) was the first major book on the Enquiry—dated and difficult, but still rewarding.
  • Approachable Discussions of Specific Topics from the Enquiry

  • CraigEdward, ‘Hume on Thought and Belief’, in GodfreyVesey (ed.), Philosophers Ancient and Modern (CUP, 1986), 93–110.
  • SalmonWesley, ‘An Encounter with David Hume’, in JoelFeinberg (ed.), Reason and Responsibility (Dickenson, 3rd edn. 1975), 190–208 (on induction).
  • p. lxiiStroudBarry, Hume (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977), ch. 4 (on necessary connexion).
  • BotterillGeorge, ‘Hume on Liberty and Necessity’, in Millican (ed.), Reading Hume, 277–300.
  • GaskinJ. C. A., Hume’s Philosophy of Religion (Macmillan, 2nd edn. 1988).
  • NortonDavid Fate, ‘Of the Academical or Sceptical Philosophy’, in Millican (ed.), Reading Hume, 371–92.
  • General Introductory Books on Hume’s Epistemology

  • DickerGeorges, Hume’s Epistemology and Metaphysics (Routledge, 1998).
  • NoonanHarold W., Hume on Knowledge (Routledge, 1999).
  • StroudBarry, Hume (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977).
  • Advanced General Books

  • BennettJonathan, Learning from Six Philosophers, vol. ii (OUP, 2001).
  • GarrettDon, Cognition and Commitment in Hume’s Philosophy (OUP, 1997).
  • NoxonJames, Hume’s Philosophical Development (OUP, 1973).
  • PassmoreJohn, Hume’s Intentions (Duckworth, 3rd edn. 1980).
  • WrightJohn P., The Sceptical Realism of David Hume (Manchester University Press, 1983).
  • Multi-Authored Collections

  • NortonDavid Fate (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume (CUP, 1993).
  • OwenDavid W. D. (ed.), Hume: General Philosophy (Ashgate, 2000).
  • ReadRupert, and RichmanKenneth A. (eds), The New Hume Debate (Routledge, 2nd edn. 2007).
  • StewartM. A and WrightJohn P. (eds), Hume and Hume’s Connexions (Edinburgh University Press, 1994).
  • TraigerSaul (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Hume’s Treatise (Blackwell, 2006).
  • TweymanStanley (ed.), David Hume: Critical Assessments, 6 vols. (Routledge, 1995).
  • Further Reading in Oxford World’s Classics

  • BerkeleyGeorge, Principles of Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues, ed. HowardRobinson.
  • DescartesRené, A Discourse on the Method, trans. IanMaclean.
  • HobbesThomas, The Elements of Law Natural and Politic, ed. J. C. A.Gaskin.
  • HobbesThomas, Leviathan, ed. J. C. A.Gaskin.
  • HumeDavid, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion and The Natural History of Religion, ed. J. C. A.Gaskin.
  • HumeDavid, Selected Essays, ed. StephenCopley and AndrewEdgar.