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英语听力小短文名人故事哲学思想家8:David Hume 大卫·休谟

David Hume

大卫·休谟

Hume attended the University of Edinburgh at the unusually early age of twelve at a time when fourteen was normal. At first 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; and while fancyed I was poring over Voet and Vinnius, Cicero and Virgil were the Authors which I was secretly devouring.” He had little respect for the professors of his time, telling a friend in 1735,“there is nothing to be learnt from a Professor, which is not to be met with in Books.”

休谟在年仅12岁时就进入爱丁堡大学就读,当时正常的入学年龄是14岁。最初休谟打算从事法律这个行业,但不久他发现自己有了 “一种对于学习哲学和知识以外所有事物的极度厌烦感。当我的家人想象我正在阅读屋埃特和维尼阿斯(两位当时著名的法学家)时,我实际上却是在阅读西塞罗和维吉尔的著作。”休谟对于大学里的教授都不抱好感,他曾在1735年告诉一位朋友说:“你根本不能从教授身上学到任何东西,那些东西在书里都有了。”

As Hume’s options lay between a traveling tutorship and a stool in a merchant’s office, he chose the latter. In 1734, after a few months occupied with commerce in Bristol, he went to La Fleche in Anjou, France. There he had frequent discourse with the Jesuits of the College of La Fleche. As he had spent most of his savings during his four years there while writing A Treatise of Human Nature, he resolved “to make a very rigid frugality supply my deficiency of fortune, to maintain unimpaired my independency, and to regard every object as contemptible except the improvements of my talents in literature” . He completed the Treatise at the age of 26.

当休谟面对是成为家庭教师还是成为商人的职员这两个选择时,他最终选择了后者。 1734年,在布里斯托经商数个月之后,休谟前往法国安茹的拉弗莱舍(La FUche)旅游,在那里休谟经常与来自拉弗莱舍学院的耶稣会学生进行哲学讨论。在写《人性论》的四年中,他花掉了大部分储蓄,因此休谟决心要“过极其简朴的生活以应付我那有限的财产,以此确保我的独立自主 性,并且不用考虑任何除了增进我的文学天分以外的事物。”当《人性论》完稿时,他年仅26岁。

Although many scholars today consider the Treatise to be Hume's most important work and one of the most important books in Western philosophy, the critics in Great Britain at the time did not agree, describing it as “abstract and unintelligible” . Despite the disappointment, Hume later wrote, “Being naturally of a cheerful and sanguine temper, I soon recovered from the blow and prosecuted with great ardour my studies in the country.” There, he wrote the Abstract without revealing his authorship, he aimed to make his larger work more intelligible. However, only in about 1770, with the praise by Immanuel Kant, did scholars begin to notice its value. 
 

虽然现代的学者们大多将《人性论》一书视为休谟最重要的一本著作,也是西方哲学历史上最重要的著作之一,但当时英国的批判学者们并没有看好它,认为它 “抽象且缺乏智慧”。尽管有些失望,休谨这样写道:“我本来就养成乐观而开朗的个性,很快就从这样的挫折里站了起来,并继续在乡下努力地进行研究。”他继续写下了《人性论摘要》一书,但没有写出自己的名字,他试图使他更重要的著作——《人性论》一书获得更多重视。然而,直到1770年左右,随着德国哲学家伊曼努尔·康德对休谟的褒奖,休谟的哲学著作才开始获得大众的注意。