The Reception of David Hume in Europe

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The intellectual scope and cultural impact of British writers cannot be assessed without reference to their European 'fortunes'. These essays, prepared by an international team of scholars, critics and translators, record the ways in which David Hume has been translated, evaluated and emulated in different national and linguistic areas of Europe. This is the first collection of essays to consider how and where Hume's works were initially understood throughout Europe. They reflect on how early European responses to Hume relied on available French translations, and concentrated on his Political Discourses and his History, and how later German translations enabled professional philosophers to discuss his more abstract ideas. Also explored is the idea that continental readers were not able to judge the accuracy of the translations they read, nor did many consider the contexts in which Hume was writing: rather, they were intent on using what they read for their own purposes.