Hume's 'compleat answer to dr Reid'

In October 1775, David Hume wrote to his printer William Strahan, requesting that an ‘Advertisement’ should be attached to remaining copies of the second volume of his Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects. This volume contained his two Enquiries, the Dissertation on the Passions, and The Natural History of Religion, and the Advertisement states that these works should ‘alone be regarded as containing his philosophical sentiments and principles’ (E 2). In the covering letter, Hume comments that this ‘is a compleat Answer to Dr Reid and to that bigotted silly Fellow, Beattie.’ (HL ii. 301). My aim here is to try to throw light on what Hume might have meant by this comment, and to assess to what extent it might have been justified.
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