Aaron Zubia: The Political Thought of David Hume: The Origins of Liberalism and the Modern Political Imagination

Portrait of David Hume

The Political Thought of David Hume: The Origins of Liberalism and the Modern Political Imagination

By Aaron Zubia


Fellow Aaron Zubia will soon publish his first book, The Political Thought of David Hume: The Origins of Liberalism and the Modern Political Imagination:

Aaron Alexander Zubia argues that the Epicurean roots of David Hume’s philosophy gave rise to liberalism’s unrelenting grip on the modern political imagination.

Eighteenth-century Scottish philosopher David Hume has had an outsized impact on the political thinkers who came after him, from the nineteenth-century British Utilitarians to modern American social contract theorists. In this thorough and thoughtful new work, Aaron Alexander Zubia examines the forces that shaped Hume’s thinking within the broad context of intellectual history, with particular focus on the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus and the skeptical tradition.

Zubia argues that through Hume’s influence, Epicureanism—which elevates utility over moral truth—became the foundation of liberal political philosophy, which continues to dominate and limit political discourse today.

Pre-order the book now from Notre Dame Press or Amazon >>



Aaron Zubia is Assistant Professor of Humanities in the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida. He specializes in the moral and political philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment and the American founding. His scholarly work has appeared in Hume Studies and Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He has also written in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, First Things, Law & Liberty, Washington Examiner, and Public Discourse. He is the winner of the first annual Hume Studies Essay Prize for his paper, “Hume’s Transformation of Academic Skepticism,” and he was a runner up for the Jack Miller Center’s Excellence in Civic Education Award in 2021.

Previously, Zubia was a Postdoctoral Fellow with The Tocqueville Program in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Furman University. In 2019-20, he was a Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Professor Zubia is a JMC fellow.

Learn more about Aaron Zubia >>




Facebook iconTwitter iconFollow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates about lectures, publications, podcasts, and events related to American political thought, United States history, and the Western political tradition!



Want to help the Jack Miller Center transform higher education? Donate today.