In his autobiography, written shortly before his death in 1776, David Hume made the following statement. "In the same year 1752 [sic] was published, at London, my Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals; which in my own opinion (who ought not to judge on that subject) is, of all my writings, historical, philosophical, or literary, incomparably the best." He had published by this time a number of books and several essays dealing with a wide range of subjects, but throughout his life his major interest had been in the field of philosophy, and in this area it was the subject of morality with which he had been most deeply concerned. Although his philosophical writings did not receive at first any wide popular acclaim, they did attract the attention of scholars and won the respect and admiration of some of the leading men of letters.
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