Study Guide

The Ancients in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

The Ancients

When using examples, Hume often looks to ancient Greece and Rome. This includes legendary statesmen, warriors, and scholars, whom he sees as having major skills—sometimes physical, sometimes intellectual. He recognizes that the grandeur of these figures may seem over the top to folks today. Still, Hume points out that these guys would see modern ideas about humanity, tranquility, and orderliness as equally incredible.