David Hume: The Great Empiricist

David Hume: The Great Empiricist

This is a comprehensive and systematic course on the philosophy of David Hume – a prominent Scottish Enlightenment philosopher widely known for his influential system of philosophical empiricism, naturalism and scepticism. Based on his influential and extreme Empiricist ideas, Hume can be rightly considered as one of the most important philosophers of all time.

Course code: PH009

Professor: Isaac Mutelo


David Hume remains one of the most influential philosophers to have written in the English language. He was also called ‘Saint David’ and ‘The Good David’ by his friends and colleagues, and popularly labelled as ‘The Great Infidel by some of his adversaries. Hume’s empiricist philosophical approach place him among great empiricist philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Francis Bacon and George Berkeley. His empiricist ideas present him as one of the prominent and fierce opponents of great Rationalist thinkers such as René Descartes (1596-1650), Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) and Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677).


  1. Be familiar with David Hume’s life and major philosophical writings mentioned in this course;
  2. Understand some of the key questions in respect to David Hume’s philosophy;
  3. Have a better sense of the different themes and issues within David Hume’s philosophy;
  4. Understand and be able to express some of David Hume’s philosophical arguments, taking a position over the issues mentioned in this course; and
  5. Identify and place some of David Hume’s arguments and theories within the broader philosophical project, with particular reference to relevant contemporary philosophical debates.

Table of Contents

  • Section I - Introducing David Hume 
  • Section II - Hume's Moral Philosophy
  • Section III - David Hume's Philosophy of Religion I
  • Section IV - David Hume's Philosophy of Religion II
  • Section V - David Hume's Epistemological and Metaphysical Issues I
  • Section VI - David Hume's Epistemological and Metaphysical Issues II
  • Section VII - Overview of David Hume's Political Philosophy