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Life Lessons from David Hume

Julian Baggini

How should we think? How should we live? How ought we 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.

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 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 lifework 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 learned:

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


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, and discussion boards to have your say.

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 a british philosopher, journalist and author of over 20 philosophical books. Since graduating with a PhD from University College London in 1997, he has co-founded The Philospher's Magazine and been a regular contibutor to several news outlets.

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 as 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.