circa 1766:  Scottish philosopher and historian David Hume (1711 - 1776). Born in Edinburgh, Hume was tutored at home before attending Edinburgh University and left with a degree at the age of 12. His first published work, 'A Treatise of Human Nature' (3 vols., 1739-40), dealt with the problems of speculative philosophy. In spite of the subsequent signifcance of this work, it went largely ignored at the time. He is now considered to be one of the most influential thinkers of his time.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)