David Hume Quotes

The weakness of the body and that of the mind in infancy are exactly proportioned; their vigor in manhood, their sympathetic disorder in sickness, their common gradual decay in old age. The step further seems unavoidable; their common dissolution in death.

My view of “things” are more conformable to Whig principles; my representation of “persons” to Tory prejudices. Nothing can so much prove that men commonly regard more persons than things, as to find that I am commonly numbered among the Tories.

Among well-bred people a mutual deference is affected, contempt for others is disguised; authority concealed; attention given to each in his turn; and an easy stream of conversation maintained without vehemence, without interruption, without eagerness for victory, and without any airs of superiority.

Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.

Be a philosopher but, amid all your philosophy be still a man.

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.

Avarice, the spur of industry.

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.

I assure you, that without running any of the heights of scepticism, I am apt in a cool hour to suspect, in general, that most of my reasonings will be more useful by furnishing hints and exciting people’s curiosity, than as containing any principles that will augment the stock of knowledge, that must pass to […]

The rules of morality are not the conclusion of our reason.