Despite having a noble background, hume had very limited means for livelihood and no formal education as well. As such, he set forth to Bristol wherein he apprenticed as an assistant to a rich mes apprenticeship did not last long as he soon retired to la fleche in Anjou, france. After about four years in France, hume came up with his first work, a treatise of Human Nature, subtitled being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of reasoning into moral Subjects in 1738. The treatise was Humes attempt to formulate a full-fledged philosophical system. The book, treatise was divided into three sub-parts while the book, of the Understanding discussed the origin of ideas of space, time, knowledge, probability, book ii of the passions, described elaborate psychological machinery to explain the affective, or emotional order in humans. Book iii, on Morals characterized the moral goodness in terms of feelings of approval or disapproval that people have when they consider human behaviour in the light of agreeable or disagreeable consequences.
SparkNotes: An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
Hume considered a wallpaper career in law but found his real calling in philosophy and general learning. As a result, he never graduated. Continue reading Below, top. Career, at the age of enrollment 18, hume made a philosophical discovery that opened a new scene of thought for him. Such was the influence of the thought over him that he gave up everything, to pursue. Though no one actually knows what the new scene of thought was, many have interpreted their own variations. Inspired by the new thought, hume spent more than 10 years reading and writing on the subject. He reached a stage wherein he was on the verge of mental breakdown. Just as when he decided to come out of his shell and have an active social, hume was afflicted with a ravenous appetite and palpitations of the heart. It took him some time to become sturdy and robust.
Childhood early life, david Hume was born on April 26, 1711 in Edinburgh, Scotland to joseph Home and margaret The honorable katherine falconer. He was the second of the two sons born to the couple. Young Homes father died when he was barely two years old. He was single-handedly raised by his mother. In 1734, home changed his surname to hume as Home was little known in England. At the age of 12, hume attended University of Edinburgh. This was unusual considering the standard age for admission during those days was.
Hume began his literary journey with his masterpiece, a treatise of Human Nature. Though the book was widely discarded and written off by the critics then, it is today considered as one of the post important works on history of western philosophy. Hume found success only later in his life when he turned into an essayist. His job as a librarian in the University of Edinburgh helped him access a lot of research materials which provided him the guided information for his massive six volume essay masterpiece, the history of England. The book earned favourable response and became a bestseller. It was considered as a standard history of England during its time. He is considered as a pivotal figure in the history of philosophical thought. Continue reading Below, david Hume.
"david Hume stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,. ( link ) External links edit. Continue reading Below, david Hume was a scottish philosopher, historian and essayist known for his radical philosophical scepticism and empiricism. It is because of this he is placed amongst the likes of John Locke, francis Bacon, george berkeley and Thomas Hobbes. Hume is remembered for his influential system of radical philosophical empiricism, scepticism and naturalism. Hume intently believed that passion rather than reason governed human behaviour and that human knowledge was solely based on human experience. Sadly, hume gained fame much later in his life, his works having been appreciated and considered of immense value only posthumously.
Hume, david Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Hume then proceeds to delineate the essay reviews nature of these virtues in detail. The following" highlights Hume's description of an "artificial" virtue—that of fidelity: The long and helpless infancy of man requires the combination of parents for the subsistence of their young; and that combination requires the virtue of chastity or fidelity to the marriage bed. (epm, section 4) The following" highlights the origin of this virtue - the notion that this virtue was "created" is particularly evident: Without such a utility, it will readily be owned, that such a virtue would never have been thought. (epm, section 4) Clearly then, the virtue of fidelity was "created and therefore it is distinctly artificial. References and further reading edit cohon, rachel (2004).
"Hume's Moral Philosophy stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,. ( link ) fieser, james (2006). "david Hume (1711-1776) - moral Theory internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy,. ( link ) Hume, david (1776). ( link ) Morris, william Edward (2005).
Rather vehemently, he writes: Celibacy, fasting, penance, mortification, self-denial, humility, silence, solitude, and the whole train of monkish virtues; for what reason are they everywhere rejected by men of sense, but because they serve to no manner of purpose; neither advance a man's fortune. We observe, on the contrary, that they cross all these desirable ends; stupify the understanding and harden the heart, obscure the fancy and sour the temper. We justly, therefore, transfer them to the opposite column, and place them in the catalogue of vices. ( epm, 9, 3) Clearly, hume thought that there were grave misunderstandings at the time as to what counts as virtue versus vice. For example, hume attempts to defend, contrary to many religious teachings, that a certain amount of luxury, even pride, is virtuous.
Hume makes important distinctions in his classifications of virtues. They are classified as being either "artificial" or "natural". The key distinction between these virtue classes is their origin. Artificial virtues originate from and depend on social structures such as courts and parliaments. This category of virtues include fidelity, justice, chastity and adherence to law. Natural virtues are not created but are automatically present in humans since birth. The following" highlights this: The epithets sociable, good-natured, humane, merciful, grateful, friendly, generous, beneficent, or their equivalents, are known in all languages, and universally express the highest merit, which human nature is capable of attaining. (epm, section 2, part 1). Hence, the second major distinction between natural and artificial virtues is that the former type are universal whereas the latter can vary from society to society.
Miracles Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Does this then mean that we make moral judgments on self-interest alone? Unlike his fellow empiricist Thomas Hobbes, hume argues that this is not in fact the case, rejecting psychological egoism —the view that all intentional actions are ultimately self-interested. In addition to assignment considerations of self-interest, hume maintains that we can be moved by our sympathy for others, which can provide a person with thoroughly non-selfish concerns and motivations, indeed, what contemporary theorists would call, altruistic concern. Virtue ethics edit The first-order moral theory that emerges from the second Enquiry is a form of virtue ethics. According to hume, the kinds of things write that our moral sentiments apply to—the things of which we approve and disapprove—are not particular actions or events. Rather, we ultimately judge the character of a person—whether they are a virtuous or vicious person. Hume ultimately defends a theory according to which the fundamental feature of virtues is ".the possession of mental qualities, 'useful' or 'agreeable' to the 'person himself' or to 'others ( epm, 10, 1). As a result, certain character traits commonly deemed virtues by the major religions of the time are deemed vices on Hume's theory. Hume calls these so-called "virtues such as self-denial and humility, monkish virtues.
Hume's arguments against founding morality on reason are often now included in the category of moral anti-realist arguments. As Humean-inspired philosopher John Mackie suggests, for there to exist moral facts about the world, recognizable by reason and intrinsically motivating, they would have to be very queer facts. However, there is considerable debate among scholars as to hume's status as a realist versus anti-realist. Sympathy, altruism, and egoism edit According to hume, our sympathy-based sentiments can motivate us towards the pursuit of non-selfish ends, like summary the utility of others. For Hume, and for fellow sympathy-theorist Adam Smith, the term "sympathy" is meant to capture much more than concern for the suffering of others. Sympathy, for Hume, is a principle for the communication and sharing of sentiments, both positive and negative. In this sense, it is akin to what contemporary psychologists and philosophers call empathy. In developing this sympathy-based moral sentimentalism, hume surpasses the divinely-implanted moral sense theory of his predecessor, Francis Hutcheson, by elaborating a naturalistic, moral psychological basis for the moral sense, in terms of the operation of sympathy. After providing various examples, hume comes to the conclusion that most, though not all, of the behaviors we approve of increase public utility.
equal, it could not lead us to choose one option over the other; only our sentiments can do this, according to hume. Hume writes that:.morality is determined by sentiment. It defines virtue to be whatever mental action or quality gives to a spectator the pleasing sentiment of approbation ; and vice the contrary. epm, appendix 1, 10 hume puts forward sentimentalism as a foundation for ethics primarily as a meta-ethical theory about the epistemology of morality. Hume's sentimentalism is akin to the moral epistemology of intuitionism (although, of course, different in many respects). According to such a theory, one's epistemological access to moral truths is not primarily via an evidentially mediated faculty, such as reason. Rather, one's epistemological access is more direct. According to hume, we know moral truths via our sentiments—our feelings of approval and disapproval.
In his short autobiographical work, my own Life (1776 hume states plan that his second Enquiry is "of all my writings, historical, philosophical, or literary, incomparably the best.". Contents, summary edit, method edit, hume's approach in the second Enquiry is largely an empirical one. Instead of beginning his moral inquiry with questions of how morality ought to operate, he purports to investigate primarily how we actually do make moral judgments. As Hume puts it: As this is a question of fact, not of abstract science, we can only expect success, by following the experimental method, and deducing general maxims from a comparison of particular instances. epm, 1, 10 furthermore, hume purports to provide a naturalistic account of morality, at least to the extent that it is something that is common among the human species. He writes: The final sentence, it is probable, which pronounces characters and actions amiable or odious, praise-worthy or blameable. Depends on some internal sense or feeling, which nature has made universal in the whole species. epm, 1, 8 but, whether in the end Hume purports to provide a normative ethical theory, rather than a merely descriptive theory of moral psychology, is a contentious issue among Hume scholars.
Texts - an Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals
An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals epm ) is a book by Scottish enlightenment philosopher. In it, hume argues (among other things) that the foundations of morals lie with sentiment, not reason. An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Morals is the enquiry subsequent to the. Enquiry concerning Human Understanding ehu ). Thus, it is often referred to as "the second Enquiry". It was originally published in 1751, three years after the first Enquiry. 1, hume first discusses ethics in, guaranteed a treatise of Human Nature (in book 3 - "Of Morals. He later extracted and expounded upon the ideas he proposed there in his second Enquiry.