Critique of Judgment
The Critique of Judgment translated as the Critique of the Power of Judgment, is a 1790 book by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Sometimes referred to as the "third critique," the Critique of Judgment follows the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Practical Reason. Immanuel Kant's Critique of Judgment completes the Critical project begun in the Critique of Pure Reason and the Critique of Practical Reason; the book is divided into two main sections: the Critique of Aesthetic Judgment and the Critique of Teleological Judgment, includes a large overview of the entirety of Kant's Critical system, arranged in its final form. The so-called First Introduction was not published during Kant's lifetime, for Kant wrote a replacement for publication; the Critical project, that of exploring the limits and conditions of knowledge, had produced the Critique of Pure Reason, in which Kant argued for a Transcendental Aesthetic, an approach to the problems of perception in which space and time are argued not to be objects but ways in which the observing subject's mind organizes and structures the sensory world.
The end result of this inquiry is that there are certain fundamental antinomies in human Reason, most that there is a complete inability to favor on the one hand the argument that all behavior and thought is determined by external causes, on the other that there is an actual "spontaneous" causal principle at work in human behavior. The first position, of causal determinism, is adopted, in Kant's view, by empirical scientists of all sorts; the second position, of spontaneous causality, is implicitly adopted by all people as they engage in moral behavior. The Critique of Judgment constitutes a discussion of the place of Judgment itself, which must overlap both the Understanding and Reason; the first part of the book discusses the four possible aesthetic reflective judgments: the agreeable, the beautiful, the sublime, the good. Kant makes it clear that these are the only four possible reflective judgments, as he relates them to the Table of Judgments from the Critique of Pure Reason. "Reflective judgments" differ from determinative judgments.
In reflective judgment we seek to find unknown universals for given particulars. In the former case I wish to establish something concerning the Object, am bound to establish the objective reality of an assumed concept, thus the former principle is an objective proposition for the determinant Judgment, the latter a subjective proposition for the reflective Judgment, i.e. a maxim which Reason prescribes to it. The agreeable is a purely sensory judgment — judgments in the form of "This steak is good," or "This chair is soft." These are purely subjective judgments, based on inclination alone. The good is a judgment that something is ethical — the judgment that something conforms with moral law, which, in the Kantian sense, is a claim of modality — a coherence with a fixed and absolute notion of reason, it is in many ways the absolute opposite of the agreeable, in that it is a purely objective judgment — things are either moral or they are not, according to Kant. The remaining two judgments — the beautiful and the sublime — differ from both the agreeable and the good.
They are. This oxymoronic term means that, in practice, the judgments are subjective, are not tied to any absolute and determinate concept. However, the judgment that something is beautiful or sublime is made with the belief that other people ought to agree with this judgment — though it is known that many will not; the force of this "ought" comes from a reference to a sensus communis — a community of taste. Hannah Arendt, in her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy, suggests the possibility that this sensus communis might be the basis of a political theory, markedly different from the one that Kant lays out in the Metaphysic of Morals; the central concept of Kant's analysis of the judgment of beauty is what he called the ″free play″ between the cognitive powers of imagination and understanding. We call an object beautiful, because its form fits our cognitive powers and enables such a ″free play″ the experience of, pleasurable to us; the judgment that something is beautiful is a claim that it possesses the "form of finality" — that is, that it appears to have been designed with a purpose though it does not have any apparent practical function.
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
Afrikan Aleksandrovich Spir was a Russian neo-Kantian philosopher of German-Greek descent who wrote in German. His book Denken und Wirklichkeit exerted a "lasting impact" on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Spir was born on 15 November 1837 in his father's estates of Spirovska, near the city of Elisavetgrad, his father, Alexander Alexandrovich Spir, of German descent, was a Russian surgeon—Chief Physician of the military Hospital of Odessa specifically—and former professor of mathematics in Moscow. In 1812, he received the Order of St. Vladimir, was knighted, became councillor and member of Kherson's Governorate hereditary nobility, his mother, Helena Constantinovna Spir, daughter of the major Poulevich, was on her mother's side the granddaughter of the Greek painter Logino, who arrived in Russia under the reign of Catherine the Great. Alexander Spir gave each of his five children—four boys and one girl—names chosen in an old Greek Calendar, this is the source of the curious name "Afrikan".
Spir disliked his Christian name signing his letters and books "A. Spir", his modesty impelled him not to use either the German "von" or the French "de"—denoting his noble status—before his family name. He described his education as follows: "I spent my childhood in the countryside and I studied for a while in Odessa, first in a Private boarding-school and after in a Gymnasium, more or less equivalent, if I do not mistake, to a French high-school. I have not been at the University, instead I entered the Midshipmen's School in Nikolayev, not far from the Black Sea." During this period he developed an interest in philosophy and read Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, which gave him the basis of his speculative thought. He followed the readings of Descartes, David Hume, Stuart Mill. In 1855, at the age of 18, he participated as Sub-lieutenant of the Russian navy in the Crimean War, during which he was twice decorated. Spir defended the same bastion as Leo Tolstoy during the siege of Sevastopol.
After his father’s death in 1852, he inherited his father’s estates whereupon he emancipated his serfs and gave them land and money, presaging the reform of 1861. In 1862, he left Elizabethgrad for a tour in Germany, where he spent two years "to know better the mind's matter", his sister Charitis died soon after his return to Russia in 1864. After the death of his mother, in 1867, he sold his estates at a ridiculously low price, distributed all of his possessions and left Russia permanently, he first went to Leipzig, where he attended the lectures of Moritz Wilhelm Drobisch, a Herbartian philosopher and one of the forerunners of the neo-Kantian revival of the 1860s. He was there at the same time that Nietzsche was a student, although it does not appear that they met. In 1869, he moved to Tübingen and to Stuttgart in 1871. Here, at the orthodox Church of the Court, he married on 30 January 1872, Elisabeth Gatternich and the two had a daughter, Hélène. In Leipzig, Spir befriended the publisher and fellow Freemason Joseph Gabriel Findel, who published most of Spir’s works.
His most important book, Denken und Wirklichkeit: Versuch einer Erneuerung der kritischen Philosophie was published in 1873. A second edition, the one owned by Nietzsche, was published in 1877. In an attempt to reach a broader readership, Spir wrote directly in French his Esquisses de philosophie critique, published for the first time in 1877. A new edition was published forty years after his death, in 1930, with an introduction by the French philosopher and professor at the Sorbonne Léon Brunschvicg. In 1878, having suffered from pneumonia, in order to treat the consequences of his illness, a chronic cough, Spir moved to Lausanne, where he spent five years. In 1884, Spir asked the Russian Emperor authorization to leave Russian citizenship and to obtain Swiss citizenship. In the same year, he received the imperial authorization and applied for a certificate of registry at Belmont-sur-Lausanne, where he lived with his family. In 1886, to enjoy the facilities of a bigger library, he moved to Geneva.
On 17 September 1889, he received from the Swiss Federal Government the authorization for his wife, his daughter, himself to become Swiss citizens. He died of influenza in Geneva, at 6 rue Petitot, on 26 March 1890, he was buried in the Saint-Georges cemetery. He was survived by his daughter, Hélène. Manuscripts, personal papers, books by or on African Spir were donated in March 1940 by his daughter Hélène Claparède-Spir to the Library of Geneva, where they compose the "Fonds African Spir" and can be consulted. Other papers concerning Spir, his daughter Hélène Claparède-Spir and her family can be consulted at Harvard University Library. Order of St. Andrew Order of St. George Due to his personal readings and his attending of Drobisch's lectures, Spir must be considered as a neo-Kantian philosopher. Spir referred to his philosophy as "critical philosophy", he sought to establish philosophy as the science of first principles, he held that the task of philosophy was to investigate immediate knowledge, show the delusion of empiricism, present the true nature of things by strict statements of facts and logic
Critique of Pure Reason
The Critique of Pure Reason is a 1781 book by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, in which the author seeks to determine the limits and scope of metaphysics. A heavily-revised second edition was published in 1787. Referred to as Kant's "First Critique", it was followed by the Critique of Practical Reason and the Critique of Judgment. In the preface to the first edition, Kant explains that by a "critique of pure reason" he means not "a critique of books and systems, but of the faculty of reason in general, in respect of all knowledge after which it may strive independently of all experience" and that he aims to reach a decision about "the possibility or impossibility of metaphysics"; the First Critique is viewed as culminating several centuries of early-modern philosophy, inaugurating modern philosophy. Kant builds on the work of empiricist philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume, as well as rationalists such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Christian Wolff, he expounds new ideas on the nature of space and time, tries to provide solutions to Hume's scepticism regarding human knowledge of the relation of cause and effect, René Descartes' scepticism regarding knowledge of the external world.
This is argued through their form of appearance. Kant regards the former "as mere representations and not as things in themselves", the latter as "only sensible forms of our intuition, but not determinations given for themselves or conditions of objects as things in themselves"; this grants the possibility of a priori knowledge, since objects as appearance "must conform to our cognition..., to establish something about objects before they are given to us". Knowledge independent of experience Kant calls "a priori" knowledge, while knowledge obtained through experience is termed "a posteriori". According to Kant, a proposition is a priori if it is universal. A proposition is necessary if it could not be false, so cannot be denied without contradiction. A proposition is universal if it is true in all cases, so does not admit of any exceptions. Knowledge gained a posteriori through the senses, Kant argues, never imparts absolute necessity and universality, because it is always possible that we might encounter an exception.
For instance, the a posteriori proposition'the sun rises every day' cannot be true a priori: it may be the case that one day the sun does not rise, therefore only experience can make it true. On the contrary, the proposition'8 is larger than 2' is a priori and always true, independently of experience. Kant further elaborates on the distinction between "analytic" and "synthetic" judgments. According to Kant, a proposition is analytic if the content of the predicate-concept of the proposition is contained within the subject-concept of that proposition. For example, Kant considers the proposition "All bodies are extended" analytic, since the predicate-concept is contained within—or "thought in"—the subject-concept of the sentence; the distinctive character of analytic judgements was therefore that they can be known to be true by an analysis of the concepts contained in them. In synthetic propositions, on the other hand, the predicate-concept is not contained within the subject-concept. For example, Kant considers the proposition "All bodies are heavy" synthetic, since the concept'body' does not contain within it the concept'weight'.
Synthetic judgments therefore add something to a concept, whereas analytic judgments only explain what is contained in the concept. Prior to Kant, it was thought. Kant, argues that our knowledge of mathematics, of the first principles of natural science, of metaphysics, is both a priori and synthetic; the peculiar nature of this knowledge, Kant argues, cries out for explanation. The central problem of the Critique is therefore to answer the question: "How are synthetic a priori judgements possible?" It is a "matter of life and death" to metaphysics and to human reason, Kant argues, that the grounds of this kind of knowledge be explained. Though it received little attention when it was first published, the Critique attracted attacks from both empiricist and rationalist critics, became a source of controversy, it has exerted an enduring influence on Western philosophy, helped to bring about the development of German idealism. Before Kant, it was held that truths of reason must be analytic, meaning that what is stated in the predicate must be present in the subject.
In either case, the judgment is analytic. It was thought that all truths of reason, or necessary truths, are of this kind: that in all of them there is a predicate, only part of the subject of which it is asserted. If this were so, attempting to deny anything that could be known a priori would involve a contradiction, it was therefore thought that the law of contradiction is sufficient to establish all a priori knowledge. David Hume at first accepted the general view of rationalism about a priori knowledge. However, upon closer examination of the subject, Hume discovered that some judgments thought to be analytic those related to cause and effect, were synthetic, they thus depend upon experience and are therefore a posteriori. Before Hume, rationalists had held that e
The Metaphysics of Morals
The Metaphysics of Morals is a 1797 work of political and moral philosophy by Immanuel Kant. The work is divided into the Rechtslehre and the Tugendlehre. Mary J. Gregor's translation explains these German terms as The Doctrine of Right, which deals with the rights that people have or can acquire, the Doctrine of Virtue, which deals with the virtues they ought to acquire. Rechtslehre has been translated as the Science of Right or the Metaphysical Elements of Justice, it is grounded in republican interpretation of origins of political community as civil society and establishment of positive law. Published separately in 1797, the Doctrine of Right is one of the last examples of classical republicanism in political philosophy; the Doctrine of Right contains the most mature of Kant's statements on the peace project and a system of law to ensure individual rights. The Doctrine of Virtue develops further Kant's ethical theory, which Kant first laid out in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.
Kant emphasizes treating humanity as an end in itself. The duties are analytically treated by Kant, who distinguishes: 1) duties towards ourselves; the duties are: 1) perfect duties. Kant thinks imperfect duties let a latitudo: i.e. the possibility of choose maxims. The perfect duties instead do not let any latitudo and determine the maxims of actions. In the English-speaking world, The Metaphysics of Morals is not as well known as Kant's earlier works, the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason, but it experienced a renaissance in the last few decades through the pioneering work of Gregor. Translations of the entire book: Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Mary J. Gregor. Cambridge University Press, 1991. ISBN 0-521-30372-9. Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Mary J. Gregor. Cambridge University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-521-56673-8. Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysics of Morals. In Practical Philosophy. Edited by Mary J. Gregor. Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Translated by Anonymous, "Metaphysic of Morals divided into Metaphysical Elements of Law and of Ethics." 2 vols.. Translations of Part I: Kant, Immanuel; the Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right. Translated by W. Hastie. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1887. Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysical Elements of Justice. 1st ed. Translated by John Ladd. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysics of Morals. In Kant: Political Writings. 2nd enl. ed. Edited by Hans Reiss. Translated by H. B. Nisbet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. Kant, Immanuel; the Metaphysical Elements of Justice. 2nd ed. Translated by John Ladd. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1999. Kant, Immanuel. Metaphysics of Morals, Doctrine of Rights, Section 43-section 62. In Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics and History. Edited by Pauline Kleingeld. Translated by David L. Colclasure. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006. Translations of Part II: Kant, The Doctrine of Virtue.
Translated by Mary J. Gregor. New York: Harper & Row Torchbooks, 1964. Translated by James Wesley Ellington, in Ethical Philosophy. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983. Translated by John William Semple, "The Metaphysic of Ethics." Edinburgh: Thomas Clark, 1836. The Philosophy of Law: An Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right, full text of the introduction and part I of the Metaphysics of Morals. An explanation of the division between the two parts, what Kant means by virtue. Die Metaphysik der Sitten, full German text of the Metaphysics of Morals. Book Review of Mary Gregor's 1991 translation of the Metaphysics of Morals, by Steven Palmquist. Kant and the Moral Necessity of Civil Society, full text of political theory work by Dr. Jacqueline Augustine
Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason
Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason is a 1793 book by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant. Although its purpose and original intent has become a matter of some dispute, the book's immense and lasting influence on the history of theology and the philosophy of religion is indisputable, it consists of four parts, called "Pieces" written as a series of four journal articles. He criticises ritual, superstition and a church hierarchy in this work; the First Piece appeared as a Berlinische Monatsschrift article. Kant's attempt to publish the Second Piece in the same journal met with opposition from the king's censor. Kant arranged to have all four pieces published as a book, routing it through the philosophy department at University of Jena to avoid the need for theological censorship. Kant was reprimanded for this action of insubordination; when he published a second edition in 1794, the censor was so irate that he arranged for a royal order that required Kant never to publish or speak publicly about religion.
The book's title is based on a metaphor Kant introduces in the Prefaces and uses throughout the book, whereby rational religion is depicted as a naked body while historical religions are regarded as "clothing" that are not appropriate "vehicles" for conveying religious truths to the populace. The earliest translation treats this metaphor too literally: using "naked" ignores the fact that Kant's "bloßen" can mean "mere"; the most recent translation solves this problem by using the English "bare", which has both meanings. Religion Within the Boundary of Pure Reason Semple translation 1838 Werner S. Pluhar, Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2009. With an Introduction by Stephen Palmquist. Allen W. Wood and George di Giovanni, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. With an Introduction by Robert Merrihew Adams. Included in Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology, volume 6 of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, pp.55-215.
Theodore M. Greene and Hoyt H. Hudson, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1934/1960. T. K. Abbott, translation of the First Piece only, on pp.323-360 of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Practical Reason and Other Works in Theory of Ethics. London: Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd, 1873. J. W. Semple. Edinburgh: Thomas Clark, 1838/1848. John Richardson, Religion within the Boundaries of Naked Reason extracts in J. S. Beck's The Principles of Critical Philosophy. Revised and reprinted in Richardson's Essays and Treatises, volume 2, pp.367-422. Radical evil Chris L. Firestone, Stephen R. Palmquist and the New Philosophy of Religion, Indiana University Press, 2006
David Hume was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian and essayist, best known today for his influential system of philosophical empiricism and naturalism. Hume's empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist. Beginning with his A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume strove to create a total naturalistic science of man that examined the psychological basis of human nature. Against philosophical rationalists, Hume held that passion rather than reason governs human behaviour. Hume argued against the existence of innate ideas, positing that all human knowledge is founded in experience. In what is sometimes referred to as Hume's problem of induction, he argued that inductive reasoning and belief in causality cannot be justified rationally; this is because we can never perceive that one event causes another, but only that the two are always conjoined. Accordingly, to draw any causal inferences from past experience it is necessary to presuppose that the future will resemble the past, a presupposition which cannot itself be grounded in prior experience.
Hume's opposition to the teleological argument for God's existence, the argument from design, is regarded as the most intellectually significant attempt to rebut the argument prior to Darwinism. Hume was a sentimentalist who held that ethics are based on emotion or sentiment rather than abstract moral principle, famously proclaiming that "Reason is, ought only to be the slave of the passions". Hume's moral theory has been seen as a unique attempt to synthesise the modern sentimentalist moral tradition to which Hume belonged, with the virtue ethics tradition of ancient philosophy, with which Hume concurred in regarding traits of character, rather than acts or their consequences, as the proper objects of moral evaluation. Hume maintained an early commitment to naturalistic explanations of moral phenomena, is taken to have first expounded the is–ought problem, or the idea that a statement of fact alone can never give rise to a normative conclusion of what ought to be done. Hume denied that humans have an actual conception of the self, positing that we experience only a bundle of sensations, that the self is nothing more than this bundle of causally-connected perceptions.
Hume's compatibilist theory of free will takes causal determinism as compatible with human freedom. Hume influenced utilitarianism, logical positivism, Immanuel Kant, the philosophy of science, early analytic philosophy, cognitive science and other movements and thinkers. Kant himself credited Hume as the spur to his philosophical thought who had awakened him from his "dogmatic slumbers". Hume was the second of two sons born to Joseph Home of Ninewells, an advocate, his wife The Hon. Katherine, daughter of Sir David Falconer, he was born on 26 April 1711 in a tenement on the north side of the Lawnmarket in Edinburgh. Hume's father died when Hume was a child, just after his second birthday, he was raised by his mother, who never remarried, he changed the spelling of his name in 1734, because of the fact that his surname "Home", pronounced "Hume", was not known in England. Throughout his life Hume, who never married, spent time at his family home at Chirnside in Berwickshire, which had belonged to the family since the sixteenth century.
His finances as a young man were "slender". His family was not rich, and, as a younger son, he had little patrimony to live on, he was therefore forced to make a living somehow. Hume attended the University of Edinburgh at the unusually early age of 12 at a time when 14 was normal. At first, because of his family, he considered a career in law, but came to have, in his words, "an insurmountable aversion to everything but the pursuits of Philosophy and general Learning, he had little respect for the professors of his time, telling a friend in 1735 that "there is nothing to be learnt from a Professor, not to be met with in Books". Hume did not graduate. Aged around 18, he made a philosophical discovery that opened up to him "a new Scene of Thought", which inspired him "to throw up every other Pleasure or Business to apply to it", he did not recount what this scene was, commentators have offered a variety of speculations. One popular interpretation, prominent in contemporary Hume scholarship, is that the new "scene of thought" was Hume's realization that Francis Hutcheson's "moral sense" theory of morality could be applied to the understanding as well.
Due to this inspiration, Hume set out to spend a minimum of 10 years writing. He soon came to the verge of a mental breakdown, suffering from what a doctor diagnosed as the "Disease of the Learned". Hume wrote that it started with a coldness, which he attributed to a "Laziness of Temper", that lasted about nine months; some scurvy spots broke out on his fingers. This was. Hume wrote that he "went under a Course of Bitters and Anti-Hysteric Pills", taken along with a pint of claret every day. Hume decided to have a more active life to better continue his learning, his health improved somewhat, but in 1731 he was afflicted with a ravenous appetite and palpitations of the heart. After eating well for a time, he went from being "tall, lean and ra