Humes argument on the distinction benevolence self love

Life and Works Born in Edinburgh, Hume spent his childhood at Ninewells, his family's modest estate in the border lowlands. His father died just after David's second birthday, leaving him and his elder brother and sister in the care of our Mother, a woman of singular Merit, who, though young and handsome, devoted herself entirely to the rearing and educating of her Children.

Humes argument on the distinction benevolence self love

One is a question of moral epistemology: Ethical theorists and theologians of the day held, variously, that moral good and evil are discovered: Hume sides with the moral sense theorists: Hume maintains against the rationalists that, although reason is needed to discover the facts of any concrete situation and the general social impact of a trait of character or a practice over time, reason alone is insufficient to yield a judgment that something is virtuous or vicious.

Moral rationalists of the period such as Clarke and in some moods, Hobbes and Locke argue that moral standards or principles are requirements of reason — that is, that the very rationality of right actions is the ground of our obligation to perform them. The moral sense theorists Shaftesbury and Hutcheson and Butler see all requirements to pursue goodness and avoid evil as consequent upon human nature, which is so structured that a particular feature of our consciousness whether moral sense or conscience evaluates the rest.

Hume sides with the moral sense theorists on this question: Closely connected with the issue of the foundations of moral norms is the question whether moral requirements are natural or conventional. Hobbes and Mandeville see them as conventional, and Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Locke, and others see them as natural.

If there were nothing in our experience and no sentiments in our minds to produce the concept of virtue, Hume says, no lavish praise of heroes could generate it. So to a degree moral requirements have a natural origin. Thus he takes an intermediate position: While even so law-oriented a thinker as Hobbes has a good deal to say about virtue, the ethical writers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries predominantly favor a rule- or law-governed understanding of morals, giving priority to laws of nature or principles of duty.

The chief exception here is the moral sense school, which advocates an analysis of the moral life more like that of the Greek and Hellenistic thinkers, in terms of settled traits of character — although they too find a place for principles in their ethics.

Yet he insists on a role for rules of duty within the domain of what he calls the artificial virtues. Hume roundly criticizes Hobbes for his insistence on psychological egoism or something close to it, and for his dismal, violent picture of a state of nature.

Yet Hume resists the view of Hutcheson that all moral principles can be reduced to our benevolence, in part because he doubts that benevolence can sufficiently overcome our perfectly normal acquisitiveness.

While for Hume the condition of humankind in the absence of organized society is not a war of all against all, neither is it the law-governed and highly cooperative domain imagined by Locke.

It is a hypothetical condition in which we would care for our friends and cooperate with them, but in which self-interest and preference for friends over strangers would make any wider cooperation impossible.

In the realm of politics, Hume again takes up an intermediate position. He objects both to the doctrine that a subject must passively obey his government no matter how tyrannical it is and to the Lockean thesis that citizens have a natural right to revolution whenever their rulers violate their contractual commitments to the people.

He famously criticizes the notion that all political duties arise from an implicit contract that binds later generations who were not party to the original explicit agreement. On his view, human beings can create a society without government, ordered by conventional rules of ownership, transfer of property by consent, and promise-keeping.

We superimpose government on such a pre-civil society when it grows large and prosperous; only then do we need to use political power to enforce these rules of justice in order to preserve social cooperation. So the duty of allegiance to government, far from depending on the duty to fulfill promises, provides needed assurance that promises of all sorts will be kept.

The duty to submit to our rulers comes into being because reliable submission is necessary to preserve order. Particular governments are legitimate because of their usefulness in preserving society, not because those who wield power were chosen by God or received promises of obedience from the people.

By: david mark Hume's Argument on the Distinction Benevolence & Self-love In his Enquiry Concerning the Principle of Morals, Hume rebukes the arguments of skeptical, philosophers who deny the existence of moral distinctions. He doubts that an individual can be so indifferent that he or. One approach is to construe ‘reason’ as the name of a process or activity, the comparing of ideas (reasoning), and to construe ‘morals’ as Hume uses it in this argument to mean the activity of moral discrimination (making a moral distinction). 1 HUME'S DISTINCTION BETWEEN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL VIRTUES James Fieser British Journal of the History of Philosophy, , Vol. 5, pp. Perhaps the first written attack against Hume's moral theory was by William Wishart in , which Hume responded to .

In a long-established civil society, whatever ruler or type of government happens to be in place and successfully maintaining order and justice is legitimate, and is owed allegiance. However, there is some legitimate recourse for victims of tyranny: The indirect passions, primarily pride, humility shamelove and hatred, are generated in a more complex way, but still one involving either the thought or experience of pain or pleasure.One approach is to construe ‘reason’ as the name of a process or activity, the comparing of ideas (reasoning), and to construe ‘morals’ as Hume uses it in this argument to mean the activity of moral discrimination (making a moral distinction).

By: david mark Hume's Argument on the Distinction Benevolence & Self-love In his Enquiry Concerning the Principle of Morals, Hume rebukes the arguments of skeptical, philosophers who deny the existence of moral distinctions. He doubts that an individual can be so indifferent that he or.

1 HUME'S DISTINCTION BETWEEN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL VIRTUES James Fieser British Journal of the History of Philosophy, , Vol. 5, pp. Perhaps the first written attack against Hume's moral theory was by William Wishart in , which Hume responded to .

Cleanthes, a self–­proclaimed “experimental theist”, offers the argument from design as an empirical proof of God's existence and nature (DCNR /41). Demea opposes him, maintaining that the argument's merely probable conclusion demeans God's mystery and majesty.

Hume's Argument on the Distinction Benevolence and Self-love In his Enquiry Concerning the Principle of Morals, Hume rebukes the arguments of skeptical, philosophers who deny the existence of . Hume's Argument on the Distinction Benevolence and Self-love Essay - Hume's Argument on the Distinction Benevolence and Self-love In his Enquiry Concerning the Principle of Morals, Hume rebukes the arguments of skeptical, philosophers who deny the existence of moral distinctions.

Humes argument on the distinction benevolence self love
David Hume (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)