Essays On Suicide And The Immortality Of The Soul: The Complete 1783 Edition David Hume

10622 words - 42 pages

Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul: The Complete 1783 Edition David Hume

2/10/96Copyright 1995, James Fieser (jfieser@utm.edu). See end note for details on copyright and editing conventions. This is a working draft; please report errors.1Links to Sections: Essay I: On Suicide [Not assigned] Essay II: On the Immortality of the SoulMetaphysical Arguments [Required]Moral Arguments [Optional]Physical Arguments [Required] Anti Suicide: Anonymous Reply on Suicide [Not assigned] Anonymous Reply on Immortality [Optional] Rousseau's letters on Suicide [Not assigned]Editor's Note: Hume's essays on the suicide and the immortality of the soul were completed around 1755 and printed as part of a book of essays titled Five Dissertations. When pre-release copies of Five Dissertations provoked controversy among influential readers, Hume and his printer Andrew Millar agreed to have the two essays physically removed from the printed copies. They were replaced with an essay titled "Of the Standard of Taste," and the book of essays appeared in 1757 under the title Four Dissertations. Rumors about the two withdrawn essays circulated for years, and clandestine copies appeared anonymously in French (1770) and later in English (1777). In 1783 the two essays were published more openly, and this time with Hume's name attached. Like the 1770 and 1777 publications, the 1783 publication was not authorized by Hume. Along with Hume's two essays, the anonymous editor of the 1783 edition included his own critical notes to Hume's two pieces, and excerpts from Rousseau's La Nouvelle Heloise on the subject of suicide. The contents, then, of the 1783 publication are as follows:Preface: p. iiiEssay I. On Suicide (Hume): p. 1Essay II. On the immortality of the soul (Hume): p. 23Anti-Suicide (anonymous editor): p. 39Immortality of the Soul (anonymous editor): p. 53Letter 114 from Rousseau's Eloisa: p. 67Letter 115 from Rousseau's Eloisa: p. 90A copy of the original two essays as they were printed in Five Dissertations is in the possession of the National Library of Scotland. That copy contains nineteen corrections in Hume's hand and is Hume's final surviving revision of the essays. None of these corrections appear in the 1783 edition.ESSAYS ON SUICIDE, AND THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, ASCRIBED TO THE LATE DAVID HUME, ESQ. Never before published. With REMARKS, intended as an Antidote to the Poison contained in these Performances, BY THE EDITOR. TO WHICH IS ADDED, TWO LETTERS ON SUICIDE, FROM ROSSEAU'S ELOISA. ---- Printed for M. SMITH; and sold by the booksellers in piccadilly, Fleet-street, and Paternoster-row. 1783 (Price 3 s. 6 d. sewed){iii}PREFACETHESE two Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul, though not published in any edition of his works, are generally attributed to the late ingenious Mr. Hume.The well-known contempt of this eminent philosopher for the common convictions of mankind, raised an apprehension of...

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