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The Life of David Hume$
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Ernest C. Mossner

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199243365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199243365.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 October 2021

Law versus Literature

Law versus Literature

(p.52) Chapter 5 Law versus Literature
The Life of David Hume

Ernest Campbell Mossner

Oxford University Press

After leaving Edinburgh University in 1725 or 1726, without taking his degree, David Hume settled down to a prolonged course of private study that lasted until 1734. This critical period in his intellectual development is summarily dismissed in My Own Life. The retrospective account, however, oversimplifies the situation. For the eight-year period falls into two distinct parts: the first, to the spring of 1729, while he studied law and read general literature; and the second, from the spring of 1729 to the spring of 1734, while he enthusiastically followed an independent programme of philosophical and scholarly research directed towards the formulation of a new system of philosophy and criticism. According to the mode of the day in Scotland, the careers open to a younger son of the landed gentry were limited.

Keywords:   Edinburgh University, David Hume, My Own Life, law, literature, philosophy, criticism, Scotland, gentry

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