Knowledge is gained only through experience, and experiences only exist in the mind as individual units of thought. This theory of knowledge belonged to David Hume, a Scottish philosopher. Hume was born on April 26, 1711, as his family’s second son. His father died when he was an infant and left his mother to care for him, his older brother, and his sister. David Hume passed through ordinary classes with great success, and found an early love for literature. He lived on his family’s estate, Ninewells, near Edinburgh. Throughout his life, literature consumed his thoughts, and his life is little more than his works. By the age of 40, David Hume had been employed twice and had failed at the family careers, business and law. Occasionally, he served on diplomatic missions in France and other countries.
Hume’s major work, A Treatise of Human Nature, was not well understood when first published, and received much criticism. The first two volumes were pu...