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Treatise of Human Nature
Was originally ignored, then Hume rewrote it as an Enquiry concerning the Principle of Morals
History of Philosophy is Reason vs Passion
- Reason - eternal, constant, divine and what you should follow
- Passions/Sentiment/Emtion - blind, inconsistent, deceitful, what you shouldn't follow
Hume's viewpoint on reason vs passion
- They are NOT at conflict with each other!
- 1. Reason cannot cause us to act (no motive)
- 2. Reason cannot oppose passion
Reason is the slave of passion, goal is to serve and obey passion.
- 1. Demonstration and Probability
- 2. Relations between Ideas
- 3. Judges Cause and Effect
Passion cannot be true or false, just is
Thus reason never opposes a passion but in itself does not motivate you to act
Why have we made this mistake (combat between reason and passion)?
- We have violent passions and calm passions.
- We have mistaken the two conflicts
Reason compares relationships
Scenario: Child tree kills a parent tree, no moral action. Human child kills a parent, it's considered wrong/immoral
Reason should say they are both the same, but they are different. Difference comes from feeling and sentiment.
Why is incest wrong though may not be in say plants
Answer is based on feeling/sentiment NOT reason
The Source of Moral Distinctions is based on Moral Sense
- Morality is felt, not thought
- Feeling tells you if its right or wrong (agreeable vs disagreeable feeling)
Is morality (in Hume's sense) objective or relativistic?
Objective, we should feel the same things unless we are "sick" or "crazy"
Morality is like beauty
Though it is felt, there is an objectiveness to it (ie symmetry is beautiful)