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Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Language.


Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is most influential in the developments of modern philosophy: think of Kant, phenomenology, and analytic philosophy. Hume’s science of the mind is concerned with questions regarding causality, skepticism, miracles, the relation between habit and belief, animal thought and freedom and necessity.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • provide students with knowledge of an important philosophical text and relate it to the development of modern philosophy;

  • provide students with a a possibility to develop research ablilities.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • Hume’s Enquiry;

  • how Hume’s Enquiry relates to the development of modern philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • read carefully a classical text;

  • ask critical questions concerning the text;

  • find secondary literature;

  • give a balanced judgement of the secondary literature;

  • develop and defend an interpretation of the text both in speech and in writing.


The timetable is available on the BA Filosofie website

  • BA Filosofie, BA3 – BA Plus-traject and Standaardtraject

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours

  • Attending seminars: 13 x 3 hours = 39 hours

  • Preparation seminars: 12 x 8 hours = 96 hours

  • Writing paper: 145 hours

Assessment method


  • Final paper

Class attendance is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from submitting a final paper.


The resit consists of a final paper. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks.

Class attendance and participation is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from submitting a final paper. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting of instructions, texts and information.

Reading list

  • David Hume, An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding, ed. by Tom Beauchamp, Oxford University Press, 1999.


Enrolment for courses and exams through uSis is mandatory.

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. M.S. van der Schaar


Not applicable.