Quoting from Don Garrett:
“A 1999 Sunday Times survey of British ‘opinion leaders’ named David Hume the ‘Scot of the Millenium’ then just ending. In earning this honor, Hume surpassed Robert Burns, Alexander Fleming, and his own friend Adam Smith. Given the dearth of recognized competitors from previous millenia, it seems safe to assume that this amounted to being recognized as the greatest Scot of all time.
Although Hume served at different times as a tutor, a librarian and a diplomat, it is his writings that qualify him to be considered amont the greatest of his countrymen. Among those writings, some of his essays made significant early contributions to economics and political science, and his judicious six-volume History of England was both popular and influential, but it is unquestionably his brilliant and wide-ranging philosophical writings that constitute his most distinctive and enduring legacy.
Indeed, many academic philosophers consider him to be – with Plato, Aristotle, and Immanuel Kant – one of the four most important philosophers of all time.”
[Don Garrett, Hume (Routledge, New York, 2015), p. 1; bold added].
Transcribed here on May 13, 2019