This introductory chapter discusses how David Hume's political ideas shed light on a host of questions in political theory, political science, and practical politics that would otherwise seem intractable. Aspects of Hume's work that might seem either hard to understand or of questionable modern relevance when treated with the methods of philosophy or history both fall into place and prove their continuing importance when viewed through the lens of political theory. Political theorists can find in Hume an innovative, unfamiliar way of understanding and addressing political disagreement. Hume's “liberalism of enlargement” suggests that moral factions divide the members of polities; whereas political interests, suitably defined and creatively accommodated, unite them.
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