Vol. 4 (2019)

Mille choses de sa part. Hume, Ramsay and Beccaria

Emilio Mazza
IULM-Libera università di lingue e comunicazione, Milano
Published May 27, 2019
How to Cite
Mazza, E. (2019). Mille choses de sa part. Hume, Ramsay and Beccaria. Diciottesimo Secolo, 4, 121-129. https://doi.org/10.13128/ds-25444


At the end of 1765 Morellet wrote to Hume: «I send you 3 copies of my translation of the book de’ delitti». A few days afterwards he informed Beccaria that Hume «desires me to tell you one thousand things for him». To justify his translation Morellet appeals to Hume’s authority: he «read the original and the translation with great care» and «approved of my freedom in translating it». In his works and letters Hume never mentions Beccaria: what about the «one thousand things» that he is supposed to have told Morellet about Dei delitti? Were they close to those that Ramsay mentioned to Diderot? What did Hume think about the theory of original contract and the abolishment of capital punishment?