Journaltalk - Hume's Manuscript Account of the Extraordinary Affair Between Him and Rousseau

Hume's Manuscript Account of the Extraordinary Affair Between Him and Rousseau

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  • David Hume
Volume Number 18
Issue Number 2
Pages 278–326
File URL Hume's Manuscript Account of the Extraordinary Affair Between Him and Rousseau
Publication year 2021

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  1. Dear colleagues:

    I’m a Spanish Hume’s scholar and I’m working at that precise moment in the first Spanish edition of CGA by Hume.

    First, many thanks for making public a copy of Hume’s MS at BNS.

    Only a brief comment: in my opinion there is an important change in transcription of the letter of June 23rd because where the original text of MS (page 30) says “c’est vous même” your version says precisely the opposite “I know one man, however, whom you can not deceive; I mean myself.” (your ed. MS, p. 298). The 1766 French original version (p. 47) and the English original version (p. 29) correctly transcribe this text, as the original MS. French and Italian present editions do the same.

    The change I think is very relevant because Rousseau rhetorically depersonalizes Hume, turning him into a third person who attends the accusation process, in astonishment, being at the same time accused, judge and witness. All of this is lost with this transcription from Hume’s original MS.

    This mistaken quote is also repeated at the beginning of the paper by Klein (“To Tolerant England and a Pension from the King: Did Hume Subconsciously Aim to Subvert Rousseau’s Legacy?”).

    I thought it could be of interest for you.

    Yours sincerely,
    José L. Tasset, Professor of A Corunna University, Spain.

    posted 28 Dec 2021 by Jose Tasset

  2. Outstanding, thank you so much Professor Tasset. We are reproducing both pieces in a volume from CL Press, and we are making the correction. The erroneous “I mean myself” is in the 1826 Hume edition, the text of which was used by Project Gutenberg, which is where we lifted the English translations of Rousseau from. Thank you again!

    posted 02 Jul 2022 by Daniel Klein

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