Manuscript Letter: Hume thanks the unknown individual for a letter he received on the sixth of that month and that until now public duty has stopped him from responding.
The letter concerns Hume's opinion of Robert Owen, with Hume stating that he believes Owen to be a honest man, but erroneous in many of the opinions that he holds, "which if they could be acted upon, would add greatly to the existing evils" present in society.
He states that he supports Owen's desire to benefit mankind, but he has two principles that he holds "essential to the happiness of man, and to the prosperity of this kingdom." These principles are that every man should have a motive for their "exertion and industry" and be able to "enjoy the fruits of his labour." Hume believes Owen's system confounds these two principles. He is also against Owen's view that machinery is injurious to society.