An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

by: David Hume

Overall Analysis and Themes

Hume is an ardent opponent of rationalist metaphysics, which seeks to answer questions such as whether or not God exists, what the nature or matter and soul is, or whether the soul is immortal. The mind, according to Hume, is not a truth-tracking device, and we misuse it if we think it can bring us to metaphysical conclusions. A Humean science of the mind can describe how the mind works and why it reaches the conclusions it does, but it cannot take us beyond the confines of our own, natural, reason.