Justin Broackes

Justin Broackes is a lecturer in philosophy at University College, Oxford. He is working on a study of properties and qualities.

Hume and Scepticism

Justin Broackes, 6 March 1986

Hume has had much to complain about in his readers, besides the (perhaps legendary) early lack of them. The first reviewers accused him of obscurity, egotism and ‘evil intentions’. Warburton charged him with framing a system of human nature on the principle of ‘necessity, in opposition to liberty and freedom’. A French reviewer complained: ‘Never has there been a Pyrrhonian more dogmatic.’ And as if Warburton’s ill-natured and uncomprehending critique were not enough, the London Review (no relation) some years later carried the no doubt fabricated story of Hume, in a fit of ‘violent rage’, demanding satisfaction at sword-point from the terrified printer of Warburton’s piece.

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