There are many published editions of Hume’s writings. The best of these are the volumes are The Philosophical Works of David Hume (1874-1875), ed. T.H. Green and T.H. Grose; Hume’s Treatise (Oxford, 1978) and Enquiries (Oxford, 1975) ed. L.A. Selby-Bigge and P.H. Nidditch; Hume’s History of England (Liberty Classics, 1983); Hume’s Essays, Moral, Political and Literary (Liberty Classics, 1987), ed. E.F. Miller. Oxford University Press is currently producing a critical edition of Hume’s philosophical writings, edited by T. Beauchamp, M. Box, D.F. Norton, and M.A. Stewart. Thoemmes Press has published a ten-volume collection 18th and 19th century critical discussions of Hume titled Early Responses to Hume’s Writings (Thoemmes Press, 1999-2005), ed. J. Fieser. Currently, the best biography of Hume is E.C. Mossner’s The Life of David Hume (Oxford, 1980). For online e-texts of Hume’s writings and some commentaries, see the Hume Archives. Below is a chronological list of Hume’s publications.
(1) A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects (1739-40).
Notes: in three volumes, published anonymously: Vol. I. Of the Understanding; Vol. II. Of the Passions. Vol. III. Of Morals. The work did not sell well, and no subsequent edition of the Treatise appeared until the early 19th century. This is Hume’s principle philosophical work, the central notions of which were rewritten more popularly in Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding (1748) and An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751).
(2) An Abstract of a Book lately Published; entituled, A Treatise of Human Nature, &c. Wherein the chief Argument of that Book is farther Illustrated and Explained (1740).
Notes: 16 page pamphlet, published anonymously as an effort to bring attention to the Treatise. No subsequent edition of this appeared until 1938.
(3) Essays, Moral and Political (1741-1742).
Notes: published anonymously in two volumes, in 1741 and 1742 respectively. In subsequent editions some essays were dropped and others added; the collection was eventually combined with his Political Discourses (1752) and retitled Essays, Moral, Political and Literary in Hume’s collection of philosophical works, Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (1753).
(4) A Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend in Edinburgh: Containing Some Observations on a Specimen of the Principles concerning Religion and Morality, said to be maintain’d in a Book lately publish’d, intituled, A Treatise of Human Nature, &c (1745)
Notes: 34 page pamphlet published anonymously surrounding Hume’s candidacy for candidate for the Chair of Moral Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. The pamphlet responds to criticisms regarding the Treatise.
(5) Philosophical Essays Concerning Human Understanding. By the Author of the Essays Moral and Political (1748)
Notes: published anonymously; later retitled Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. This is a popularized version of key themes that appear mainly in the Treatise, Book 1.
(6) A True Account of the Behaviour and conduct of Archibald Stewart, Esq; late Lord Provost of Edinburgh. In a letter to a Friend (1748).
Notes: 51 page pamphlet published anonymously as a defense of Archibald Stewart, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, surrounding a political controversy.
(7) An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. By David Hume, Esq. (1751)
Notes: This is a popularized version of key themes that appear mainly in the Treatise, Book 3.
(8) The Petition of the Grave and Venerable Bellmen (or Sextons) of the Church of Scotland (1751)
Notes: anonymous pamphlet surrounding the Church of Scotland’s efforts to increase their stipends.
(9) Political discourses. By David Hume Esq. (1752)
Notes: collection of essays on economic and political subjects, which was eventually combined with his Essays Moral and Political (1741-1742) and retitled Essays, Moral, Political and Literary in Hume’s collection of philosophical works, Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (1753).
(10) Scotticisms (1752).
Notes: 6 page pamphlet published anonymously, listing Scottish idioms.
(11) The History of England, from the Invasion of Julius Cæsar to the Revolution in 1688 (1754-1762)
Notes: published in four installments: (a) The history of Great Britain. Vol. I. Containing the reigns of James I. and Charles I. By David Hume, Esq. (1754); (b) The history of Great Britain. Vol. II. Containing the Commonwealth, and the reigns of Charles II. and James II. By David Hume, Esq. (1757); (c) The history of England, under the House of Tudor Comprehending the reigns of K. Henry VII. K. Henry VIII. K. Edward VI. Q. Mary, and Q. Elizabeth. … By David Hume, Esq (1759); (d) The history of England, from the invasion of Julius Cæsar to the accession of Henry VII. … By David Hume, Esq. (1762).
(12) Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. By David Hume, Esq; In four volumes (1753)
Notes: Hume’s collected philosophical works, which includes (a) Essays, Moral and Political, (b) Philosophical Essays concerning Human Understanding, (c) Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, and (d) Political Discourses. Essays from Four Dissertations (1757) were later added.
(13) Four Dissertations. I. The Natural History of Religion. II. Of the Passions. III. Of Tragedy. IV. Of the Standard of Taste. By David Hume, esq. (1757)
Notes: this volume was originally to include “Of Suicide” and “Of the Immortality of the Soul,” which were removed at the last minute and appeared in 1783 in an unauthorized posthumous edition. The four essays in Four Dissertations were later added to various sections of Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects.
(14) Letter to Critical Review, April 1759, Vol. 7. pp. 323-334
Notes: defense of William Wilkie’s epic poem Epigoniad.
(15) Expos‚ succinct de la contestation qui s’est ‚lev‚e entre M. Hume et M. Rousseau, avec les piŠces justificatives (1766)
Notes: 127 page pamphlet containing letters between Hume and Rousseau, published anonymously, translated from English by J.B.A. Suard. The pamphlet was translated back to English in A Concise and Genuine account of the Dispute between Mr. Hume and Mr. Rousseau: with the Letters that Passed Between them during their Controversy (1766).
(16) Advertisement to Baron Manstein’s Memoirs of Russia, Historical, Political and Military, from MDCXXVII, to MDCXLIV (1770)
Notes: the opening advertisement in this work is signed by Hume.
(17) The Life of David Hume, Esq. Written by Himself (1777)
Notes: The only authorized edition of this work is that contained in the 1777 edition of Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. This separately published edition includes “Letter from Adam Smith, LL.D. to William Strahan, Esq”.
(18) Dialogues Concerning Natural religion. By David Hume, Esq. (1779)
Notes: posthumous edition from manuscript, contains Hume’s most detailed attack on natural religion.
(19) Essays on Suicide, and the Immortality of the Soul, ascribed to the late David Hume, Esq. Never before Published. With Remarks, intended as an Antidote to the Poison contained in these Performances, by the Editor. To which is added, Two Letters on Suicide, from Rosseau’s [sic] Eloisa (1783)
Notes: unauthorized publication of the two essays that were originally associated with Four Dissertations.