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Portrait of David Hume (detail) by Allan Ramsey (1754)

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The Hume Society welcomes news from members on the publication of books, including edited collections, special journal editions, awards or prizes and interviews on Hume. To see members’ publications of articles and chapters, please check their academic or other profiles.

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Miguel A. Badía Cabrera Edits Robert Wallace’s A Letter from a Moderate Freethinker to David Hume Esquire Concerning the Profession of the Clergy (Scholars’ Facsimiles & Reprints, Ann Arbor, 2013)

This remarkable pamphlet by Robert Wallace (1697-1771), prominent member of the Church of Scotland, promoter of learned institutions, man of letters, and Hume’s amiable controversialist, had not been published in its entirety. As it was the case with many other students of Hume’s philosophy and the history of the Scottish Enlightenment, the editor first became acquainted with this work when, while majoring in philosophy, he read the several passages that Ernest Mossner transcribed and included in his groundbreaking and dazzling “intimate biography,” The Forgotten Hume, Le bon David (New York: Columbia University Press, 1943), and his monumental work, The Life of David Hume (London and Edinburgh: Nelson, 1954; 2d ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980). It is because of the considerable philosophical value and originality of this manuscript that it has been transcribed in full and offered to the public with an Introduction, Chronology of Wallace’s Life, and Notes. This edition also includes an Appendix with a transcription of a fragment of essay 24, “Of National Characters,” in the third edition (1748) of Hume’s Essays, Moral and Political, which contains the observations about the clergy that Wallace found objectionable.

Miguel A. Badía Cabrera is Professor (Retired) of Philosophy at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras.


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