Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
David Hume and Eighteenth-Century America

David Hume and Eighteenth-Century America (Hardback)

To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock


This book explores the reception of David Hume's political thought in eighteenth-century America. It presents a challenge to standard interpretations that assume Hume's thought had little influence in early America. Eighteenth-century Americans are often supposed to have ignored Hume's philosophical writings and to have rejected entirely Hume's "Tory" History of England. James Madison, if he used Hume's ideas in Federalist No. 10, it is commonly argued, thought best to do so silently -- open allegiance to Hume was a liability. Despite renewed debate about the impact of Hume's political ideas in America, existing scholarship is often narrow and highly speculative. Were Hume's works available in eighteenth-century America? If so, which works? Where? When? Who read Hume? To what avail?

To answer questions of that sort, this books draws upon a wide assortment of evidence. Early American book catalogues, periodical publications, and the writings of lesser-light thinkers are used to describe Hume's impact on the social history of ideas, an essential context for understanding Hume's influence on many of the classic texts of early American political thought. Hume's Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects, was readily available, earlier, and more widely, than scholars have supposed. The History of England was read most frequently of all, however, and often in distinctive ways. Hume's History, which presented the British constitution as a patch-work product of chance historical developments, informed the origins of the American Revolution and Hume's subsequent reception through the late eighteenth century. The 326 subscribers to the first American edition of Hume's History (published in Philadelphia in 1795-96) are more representative of the History's friendly reception in enlightened America than are its few critics. Thomas Jefferson's latter-day rejection of Hume's political thought foreshadowed Hume's falling reputation in nineteenth-century America.

MARK G. SPENCER is Associate Professor of History at Brock University where he holds a Chancellor's Chair for Research Excellence. His books include Hume's Reception in Early America (2002), Utilitarians and Their Critics in America, 1789-1914 (2005), and Ulster Presbyterians in the Atlantic World (2006).

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPhilosophy TheorySocial & political philosophyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesWestern philosophyWestern philosophy: c 1600 to c 1900Western philosophy: Enlightenment Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd Publication Date: 15/06/2005 ISBN-13: 9781580461184  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

More books by Mark G. Spencer

Leave Review


Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Les Climats du pouvoir: rhetorique et...
Richard Spavin
The Rise and Fall of Scottish Common...
Douglas McDermid
Kant and the Faculty of Feeling
Kelly Sorensen; Diane Williamson
Kant's Lectures on Ethics: A Critical...
Lara Denis; Oliver Sensen
Latest Blog
On Memory and Forgetting

David Whitehouse talks to us about memory and forgetting, and how his personal experience influenced his new novel, The Long Forgotten.

The End of the F***ing World creator, Charles Forsman, picks his favourite coming of age books

The End of the F***ing World creator, Charles Forsman, picks his favourite coming of age books.

#FoylesFive: Annihilation

With the release of Annihilation on Netflix it's the perfect time to catch up with the book that starts Jeff VanderMeer's unsettling Southern Reach trilogy.

View all Blog Entries
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd