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He never actually held a university post, being turned down from two appointments on charges of atheism, and made a living as a man of letters, acting variously as a secretary, tutor, librarian, and historian.He lived a great deal of his life in France, where he was very popular in literary circles.
For instance, I know the sun will rise tomorrow based on past observations and my understanding of cosmology, even though I have yet to observe this fact directly.
Hume suggests that we cannot justify these causal inferences.
Hume disliked this vocation, turning instead toward philosophy.
While still in his twenties, he wrote the monumental Treatise of Human Nature, which, to his surprise and disappointment, received very little attention upon its publication.
This principle can also be denied without contradiction, and there is no way it can be justified in experience.
Therefore, we have no rational justification for believing in cause and effect.
Instead, he says, the mind is initially a blank slate, and ideas are imprinted on it only through experience.
This goes even for the most fundamental principles of reasoning, including principles (i.e., assertions about how to behave).
The second addresses the reader directly, and offers a defense of the book and its arguments from various perspectives.
The rest of the work is divided into four books, as follows.