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See also: humean


Alternative forms[edit]


Hume (David Hume) +‎ -an



Humean (not comparable)

  1. Of or pertaining to the philosophy of David Hume (1711–1776).
    • 1777, Robert Dick [ed.], The North-British Intelligencer, volume 5, “A Letter to Adam Smith, LL. D. on the Life, Death, and Philoſophy of his friend David Hume, Eſq.”, page 134, footnote §:
      § Treatiſe of Human Nature, L. 467. In the P. S. to this letter, a view will be given of the Humian ſyſtem, taken exactly as it appeared to its author at ſix o’clock in the evening.
    • 1798, Robert Bisset, The Life of Edmund Burke[1], page 22:
      Burke had planned a confutation of the Berkleian and Humean hypothesis; but the active engagements of politics afterwards prevented the completion of his speculative disquisitions.
    • 1800, Charles Lamb in his executor-cum-editor Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd’s 1837 Letters of Charles Lamb, with a Sketch of his Life, volume 1, chapter VI: “Letters to Manning, after Lamb’s removal to the Temple”, pages 190–191:
      I am reading ‘Burnet’s own Times.’ […] He tells his story like an old man past political service, bragging to his sons on winter evenings of the part he took in public transactions, when ‘his old cap was new.’ Full of scandal, which all true history is. […] None of the cursed philosophical Humeian indifference, so cold and unnatural and inhuman!



Humean (plural Humeans)

  1. An adherent or advocate of Humean doctrines.
    • 1815 June, The British Critic, volume 3, article VI: book review of Thomas Belsham’s 1815 “Letters addressed to the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of London, in Vindication of the Unitarians from the Allegations of his Lordship in his late Charge”, page 639
      [H]e who would educate a young man in the principles of Unitarianism will, in all probability, educate him in the principles of infidelity. The reason is obvious. In order to reduce his religious creed to the level of Unitarianism, he must educate him in that “freedom of inquiry,” which teaches him first to dispute and then to reject all the leading features of Christianity, upon the very same grounds, and on the same principles, on which the Deist rejects the probability of a revelation, and upon which, if pushed to their full extent, the Humian will question even the being and the attributes of God. Disputandi pruritus, animi scabies.
    • 1879, George Croom Robertson [ed.], Mind: A Quarterly Review of Psychology and Philosophy[2], volume IV, page 511:
      Humians see no necessary uniformity in phenomena because they expect some logical law to which uniformity may be referred.
    • 1894, James Mark Baldwin, James McKeen Cattell, et alii [eds.], Psychological Review (American Psychological Association), volume 1, pages 308–309
      It is quite true that if the criterion of consistency is not absolute, one’s knowledge of psychology and of everything else is logically bankrupt, but no Humean (and the objector may well be a follower of Hume) ever supposed that his knowledge was logically sound.
    • 1927, Collected Works of V. I. Lenin (International Publishers), volume XIII: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin [aut.] and David Kvitko [tr.], “Materialism and Empirio-criticism: Critical Notes Concerning a Reactionary Philosophy”, page 100
      We materialists, after Engels, term the Kantians and Humeans, agnostics, because they deny the objective reality of the source of our sensations.
    • 1948, Percy Alfred Scholes, The Great Dr. Burney: His Life, His Travels, His Works, His Family and His Friends (Oxford University Press), volume 1, page 113, footnote 1
      This cannot refer to Hume’s actual essay, Of Suicide, which, apparently, did not appear until 1777, but presumably the author had already expressed his views on the subject (the present writer is not sufficient of a Humeian to say where).
    • 1973, Northern Illinois University, The Philosophy Forum (Gordon and Breach Science Publishers), volume 14, issue 1, page 54
      Agreement between these two accounts, however, ends here, since for Humeians the one act is preceded in time by the other, whereas for Leibnizians the two are exact contemporaries.