Hume An Enquiry Concerned with the Principle of Morals
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- Someone who derives Moral Distinctions
- For Hume distinction is based on feeling (can be backed up by the fact that every language has a word for right and wrong)
2 Moral Theories
- 1. Based on Reason
- 2. Based on Sentiments
Based on Reason
- Rational Argument
- Principles are the same to rational beings
- Modern Philosophers
Based on Sentiments
- Immediate feeling - internal sense
- Similar to our perceptions of beauty and deformity (it just is)
- Ancient Philosophers
Natural vs Artificial
- Natural - Benevolence (ie kindness and sympathy)
- Artificial/Conventional - Justice (ie property/$, is arbitrary!)
** both are useful and brings about good social well being/order
What conditions give rise to Justice?
- 1. Lack of material good - No justice, get what you can
- 2. Complete abundance - No justice, no need for it.
- 3. State in between the first 2 - This is where justice is
Justice to Superstition
- Purity law (ie food), is arbitrary
- Justice, is arbitrary
BUT is useful for creating order and well being (ie scenario or baseball player eating chicken sandwiches before a game)
2 Criticisms (against Morality)
- 1. Skeptics
- 2. Selfishness/Self Love
Argue that morality has been opposed on us by politicians in order to control us
Hume Rejects this! In order for morality to manipulate us with morality, the moral sentiments must exist to be manipulated in the first place!
ie Dog pees on the rug. Can't manipulate dog not to pee on the rug by putting it on a guilt trip or using morality on it because these things don't exist in the dog, thus has no effect
Selfishness/Self Love/Self Interest
Benevolence - see someone being benevolent and get agreeable feeling and we do it because it's beneficial to us
Hume's response: It does appeal to sentiments, but there are cases where it doesn't seem to be for self interest
ie historical figure, if they have an agreeable virtue (or vice and disagreeable). But you don't know them and they don't affect you thus does not connect to your self interest. Same thing happens with fictional characters.
ie chess opponents: are opponents but get agreeable feeling because of their skill even though its contrary to self interest.
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