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Life Lessons from David Hume

Julian Baggini

How should we think? How should we live? How ought we to treat others? From Hume’s philosophy, to his life's history, to his observations on human behaviour; Julian Baggini gathers together life lessons from one of the most important names in philosophy.

  • Julian Baggini
    Julian Baggini

    Co-founder and editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine, author of The Duck That Won The Lottery


About the Course

David Hume is considered by many to be one of the most important intellectual figures of the 18th century. As well as a revolutionary philosopher, Hume was a historian, economist, librarian and essayist. His insistence on allowing his other interests to inform his writing saw him take philosophy out of the purely theoretical realm and place it within the practical. Such a wealth of knowledge and experience saw Hume not only offer guidance on how to reason and behave morally but also on how to live a flourishing life.

What does it mean to be rational? How ought we to live? Which philosophies should we adopt and which should we reject? Join philosopher and journalist Julian Baggini as he takes you through Hume’s most important life lessons. Baggini will take you on a riveting journey through ancient and early modern philosophy, Hume’s life's work and his advice on how to live well, including an analysis into his triumphs and failures as a philosopher.  

By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • What it means to be rational according to Hume
  • How we can all be more rational
  • How we ought to treat others
  • How we should behave towards politics and religion
  • How we can live the most flourishing life possible

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.

About the Instructor

  • Julian Baggini

    Julian Baggini is the co-founder and editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine, who also writes and broadcasts for The Guardian and the BBC. Baggini is the author of Freedom Regained: The Possibility of Free WillThe Ego Trick:  and The Duck That Won The Lottery.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One : The Formation of a Philosopher
    Discover how Hume's childhood, his nervous breakdown, his failed attempt at a commercial life and two years of solitude in France helped form some of the key ideas that would remain the bedrock of his life's philosophy.
  • Part Two: The Mature Thinker
    Examining the second half of Hume's life – when he wrote his essays and histories, was feted in France and condemned by Rousseau – illuminates many of his philosophical lessons.