Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hume's PoliticsCoordination and Crisis in the History of England$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Andrew Sabl

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134208

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134208.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HSO for personal use (for details see www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 13 December 2018

Crown and Charter

Crown and Charter

Fundamental Conventions as Principles of Authority

(p.121) Chapter 4 Crown and Charter
Hume's Politics

Andrew Sabl

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores Hume's theory of fundamental conventions, of how “examples and precedents” come to count as “uniform and ancient.” Few deny that Hume regards both private and public law as matters of convention. But some have recognized that he regards certain conventions as fundamental: immune to alteration (except in the extremely long term, at least generations and more likely centuries) by the usual methods of political power and social change. The claim that Hume does believe in fundamental conventions, that he rests a distinctive form of constitutionalism on the foundations of custom and mutual advantage, is unusual. Part of the problem is that Hume for deliberate and political reasons avoids saying what counts as fundamental and how it becomes so.

Keywords:   David Hume, fundamental conventions, private law, public law, alteration, political power, social change, constitutionalism

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.