According to Stuart Hampshire, “it is possible to characterise philosophy itself as a search for ‘a definition of man’, and to interpret the great philosophers of the past as each producing a different account of the powers essential to man”1 and according to Maurice Mandelbaum, “there arose significantly new forms of thought and standards for evaluation in the post-Enlightenment period and… these marked a radically new epoch in intellectual history”.2 These two eminent philosophers are here giving voice to two widely accepted views. This study is an examination of their conjunction in the persons of Hume and Hegel.


Human Nature Intellectual History Formal Account Modern Thought Substantive Account 
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  1. 1.
    Thought and Action, p. 232,Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    History, Man and Reason, p. 5.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    John Chapman, for example, has written “I hold that the work of Hume is of significance in that he 0064emolished certain ways of thinking and in that modern types of theory arose from the disintegration of his own position”, ‘Political Theory: Logical Structure and Enduring Types’ in L’Idée de Philosophie Politique (1965) p. 65 also p. 71.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Merleau-Ponty, for example, has written “All the great philosophical ideas of the past century, the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, phenomenology, German existentialism and psychoanalysis find their beginnings in Hegel”, quoted in C. Taylor Hegel, p. 538, and whilst Taylor demurs from a full subscription to this view, nevertheless himself adds that “the scope of Hegel’s influence is beyond question”.Google Scholar

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© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague 1982

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  • Christopher J. Berry

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