David Hume's aim in writing this text was to introduce his philosophy to a European culture in which many educated people read original works of philosophy. It gives a presentation of original and challenging views about the limited powers of human understanding, the attractions of scepticism, the compatibility of free will and determinism, and weaknesses in the foundations of religion. Hume's philosophy was highly controversial in the 18th century and remains so today. The series aims to build up a definitive corpus of key texts in the Western philosophical tradition, which will form a resource for students and teachers alike. The text printed in this edition is that of the Clarendon critical edition of Hume's works. An introduction by the editor explains the intellectual background to the work and surveys its main themes. The volume also includes detailed explanatory notes on the text, a glossary of terms, a full list of references, and a section of supplementary readings. This series consists of teaching editions of canonical texts in the history of philosophy from the ancient world down to modern times. Each volume provides a clear text together with a comprehensive introduction by a leading specialist, giving the student detailed critical guidance on the intellectual context of the work and the structure and philosophical importance of the main arguments. Endnotes are supplied which provide further commentary on the arguments and explain unfamiliar references and terminology.