Sunday, July 10, 2011

Book Review (#19 of 2011)

Hume in 90 Minutes by Paul Strathern (audio).

Since I have been exploring the world of classical liberal philosophy and needed an audio book for the road, I decided to try this book out. Paul Krugman recently listed Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding as one of his top five books, so I've been curious to read more Hume. Most of his works are available as free ebooks at Project Gutenberg and elsewhere.

There is a "Philosophers in 90 Minutes" series, and this is one part. Strathern gives a biographical overview of Hume and explains how various episodes in his life affects his writings. An overview of Hume's original contributions to philosophy is nice, but it's not very detailed. Strathern does give an example of how Hume's thoughts influenced physics and indirectly played a role in Einstein's theory of relativity-- interesting. The book ends with various important quotes from Hume's work. I learned more about the politics and personality of Hume but not so much his character. I guess I will have to read Hume's actual works.

I guess I give this book 2 stars out of 5. You learn important context for understanding Hume, but not much else.

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