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Hume’s Ethics

论文作者:英语论文网论文属性:作业 Assignment登出时间:2014-05-18编辑:hynh1021点击率:2508

论文字数:4095论文编号:org201405101659184504语种:英语论文 English地区:中国价格:免费论文

关键词:Hume’s Ethics语言理论激发权利

摘要:Hume can hardly be right to claim that from the fact that one is not motivated to do the right thing, it follows that one cannot understand what the right thing to do is. Finally his efforts to explain how moral distinctions arise from human passions seem to invoke the very kind of substantive, non-instrumental reasoning which he denies in his works.

Contents
1. Introduction
2. Hume’s ethics as an emotive theory of ethics
3. Conclusion
4. Bibliography
David Hume is an outstanding Scottish philosopher of the 18th century whose views has a significant impact on the following generations of thinkers throughout the world. His sceptical arguments concerning induction, causation and especially religion, including his famous thesis that human knowledge arises only from sense experience and not from rational judgments, shaped the 19th and 20th century empiricist philosophy. His famous saying that ‘reason is the slave of the passions’ is a cornerstone of his ethical views largely explains the emotive character of his ethics.
Hume’s ethics as an emotive theory of ethics
In his works David Hume paid a lot of attention to ethical and moral problems he wanted to discuss these issues and presented his own particular views. At this respect it is worth to mention his moral theory basically depicted in Book 3 of the Treatise, titled “Of Morals”. The author basically discusses the principle issue of his ethics whether moral distinctions are derived from reason. To put it more precisely David Hume discusses the question concerning whether human moral approval is a rational judgment about conceptual relations and facts or an emotional response. On analysing such a dilemma, Hume arrives to the conclusion that it is rather an emotional response that has little, if has any at all, in common with reason. Moreover, it is necessary to underline that T.Z. Lavine in her discussion of Hume’s philosophy points out that according to him “reason provides the means, the instruments or devices, for gaining what the passions desire” (1984:180).
In general Hume is very critical in relation to his opponents who based their ethic theories on rationalistic account of morality. For instance, Hume’s criticises Samuel Clarke and presents several arguments against his rationalistic views, the most famous of which is an argument from arboreal parricide: “a young tree that overgrows and kills its parent exhibits the same alleged relations as a human child killing his parent; if morality is a question of relations, than the young tree is immoral, which is absurd” (Frankl 1985:233).
Furthermore, Hume also argues that moral assessments are not judgments about empirical facts. The philosopher states that it is impossible to find a fact that can be called immoral for any immoral action that is examined. In other words Hume stands on the ground that it is impossible to deduce statements of obligation from statements of facts. Consequently, as moral approval is not judgment of reason, Hume concludes that it must be an emotional response. To put it more precisely, a spectator moral approval is a type of pleasure that cannot be experienced when considering an agent’s qualities, moreover, this pleasure “produces additional feelings of love or pride within the spectator” (Frankl 1985:247).
Obviously Hume is very critical about the reason. For instance, he denies that reason has any important role in motivating or discouraging behavior, it is just a sort of calculator of concept and experience. What he believes is really important is what people feel about the behavior. In such a way it becomes obvious that Hume tends to instrumentalism, which state that an action or ethical notion is reasonable if and only if it serves the agent’s goals and desires, whatever they be. A论文英语论文网提供整理,提供论文代写英语论文代写代写论文代写英语论文代写留学生论文代写英文论文留学生论文代写相关核心关键词搜索。

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