A Very Brief Summary of David Hume

Hume maintains that moral distinctions arederived from feelings of pleasure and pain of a special sort, and not—asheld by many Western philosophers since Socrates—from reason. Workingfrom the empiricist principle that the mind is essentially passive, Humeargues that reason by itself can never prevent or produce any action oraffection. But since morals concerns actions and affections, it cannotbe based on reason. Furthermore, reason can influence our conductin only two ways. First, reason can inform us of the existence ofsomething which is the proper object of a passion, and thereby excite it. Second, reason can deliberate about means to an end that we already desire. But should reason be in error in either of these areas (e.g., by mistakingan unpleasant object for one which is pleasant, or by mistakenly selectingthe wrong means to a desired end), it is not a moral but an intellectualfailing. As a final point, Hume argues for a distinction betweenfacts and values. According to Hume, one cannot infer conclusionsabout what ought or ought not to be the case based on premises of whatis or is not (see , Book III, Part I, sec.

by Henry David Aiken (Free Press, 1975)Additional on-line information about Hume includes:

According to the dominant twentieth-century interpretation, Hume sayshere that no ought-judgment may be correctly inferred from a set ofpremises expressed only in terms of ‘is,’ and the vulgarsystems of morality commit this logical fallacy. This is usuallythought to mean something much more general: that no ethical or indeedevaluative conclusion whatsoever may be validly inferred from any setof purely factual premises. A number of present-day philosophers,including R. M. Hare, endorse this putative thesis of logic, callingit “Hume's Law.” (As Francis Snare observes, on thisreading Hume must simply assume that no purely factual propositionsare themselves evaluative, as he does not argue for this.) Someinterpreters think Hume commits himself here to a non-propositional ornoncognitivist view of moral judgment — the view that moraljudgments do not state facts and are not truth-evaluable. (If Hume hasalready used the famous argument about the motivational influence ofmorals to establish noncognitivism, then the is/ought paragraph maymerely draw out a trivial consequence of it. If moral evaluations aremerely expressions of feeling without propositional content, then ofcourse they cannot be inferred from any propositional premises.) Somesee the paragraph as denying ethical realism, excluding values fromthe domain of facts.

SparkNotes: David Hume (1711–1776): Context

This theory of knowledge belonged to David Hume, a Scottish philosopher.

Hume famously criticizes the social contract theory of politicalobligation. According to his own theory, our duty to obey ourgovernors is not reducible to an instance of our duty to fulfillpromises, but arises separately though in a way parallel to thegenesis of that duty. Hume denies that any native citizen or subjectin his own day has made even a tacit promise to obey the government,given that citizens do not think they did any such thing, but ratherthink they are born to obey it. Even a tacit contract requires thatthe will be engaged, and we have no memory of this; nor do governmentsrefrain from punishing disloyalty in citizens who have given no tacitpromise.

David hume political essays summary - Posto H7

Limitations of space prevent even a cursory sketch of Hume’s treatmentof other philosophical questions, such as whether God exists and whetherhumans have free will and an immortal soul. But the devastating impactof Hume’s empiricism on traditional metaphysics is succinctly summarizedby the closing lines of his first .

Essays moral and political david hume - BHIDE HOSPITAL

Posted by nicole smith,Pages: 1 2 david hume contributed significantly to political and economic thought through his vast collection of writings, er, hume goes on to argue that in order to be held morally responsible, it is required that our behaviour be caused or necessitated, for, as he wrote:Actions are, by their very nature, temporary and perishing; and where they proceed not from some cause in the character and disposition of the person who performed them, they can neither redound to his honour, if good; nor infamy, if ns a letter written by hume to defend himself against charges of atheism and scepticism, while applying for a chair at edinburgh argues that we tend to believe that things behave in a regular manner, meaning that patterns in the behaviour of objects seem to persist into the future, and throughout the unobserved author indeed raises the possibility that writers and orators of genius are found only in democratic or free governments, but goes on to suggest, perhaps ironically, that the corruption of genius in the present age is due not to political tyranny but to the tyranny of the passions, especially love of wealth and its attendant thought that we can form beliefs about that which extends beyond any possible experience, through the operation of faculties such as custom and the imagination, but he was sceptical about claims to knowledge on this here confesses his belief that the"love of literary fame" had served as his "ruling passion" in life, and claims that this desire "never soured my temper, notwithstanding my frequent helped gain for hume's treatise the attention that it deserves, but at the same time it discouraged the study of hume's other writings, particularly the essays, as proper sources for his r, it was then that hume started his great historical work the history of r, in works such as of superstition and enthusiasm, hume specifically seems to support the standard religious views of his time and writings of scottish philosopher and contemporary of hume, thomas reid, were often criticisms of hume's y, the miracles of each religion argue against all other religions and their miracles, and so even if a proportion of all reported miracles across the world fit hume's requirement for belief, the miracles of each religion make the other less , in his conjectures and refutations, he wrote:I approached the problem of induction through ing to his essay "of the balance of trade", economist paul krugman has remarked that "david hume created what i consider the first true economic hume und die folgen (regligious studies as criticism of religion?Hume concludes the essay with the frank admission: " i cannot say there is no vanity in making this funeral oration of myself, but i hope it is not a misplaced one; and this is a matter of fact which is easily cleared and was considered a tory historian, and emphasised religious differences more than constitutional hume's political theory: law, commerce, and the constitution of g that reason cannot be behind morality, he wrote:Morals excite passions, and produce or prevent the control of anger," in plutarch's moralia, or ethical recently, hume was seen as a forerunner of logical positivism; a form of antimetaphysical empiricismA small sect or society amidst a greater are commonly most regular in their morals; because they are more remarked, and the faults of individuals draw dishonour on the ed by voltaire's sense of the breadth of history, hume widened the focus of the field away from merely kings, parliaments, and armies, to literature and science as an philosopher neil mcarthur writes that hume believed that we should try to balance our demands for liberty with the need for strong authority, without sacrificing history became a bestseller and made hume a wealthy man who no longer had to take up salaried work for fifty years of hume scholarship: a bibliographical guide (edinburgh: university press, 1978), heless, hume sometimes claims in the essays that political principles can be derived a priori, title of essay 14 was changed to "of the dignity or meanness of human nature" in the 1770 edition of essays and treatises on several this has been abandoned, hume argues that "liberty and necessity will be found not to be in conflict one with another"There was a jesuit college in the small french town of la flèche, where hume resided from 1735 to 1737 while writing his first committed adultery with euripides's servant, and the second also had loose morals, which supposedly accounts for his disparagement of women in his r, he resisted aligning himself with either of britain's two political parties, the whigs and the tories