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Download Hume on Motivation and Virtue: New Essays (Philosophers in by Charles Pigden PDF

By Charles Pigden

This assortment is dedicated to questions in meta-ethics and ethical psychology bobbing up from the paintings of David Hume. the gathering focuses on questions coming up from Humes perspectives on cause, motivation and advantage together with new essays from extraordinary Hume students.

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Additional info for Hume on Motivation and Virtue: New Essays (Philosophers in Depth)

Sample text

Sometimes, like Locke, he seems to be using “virtue” in a sociological sense to refer to what is considered as such in this society or in that. The martial virtues of the Scythians, parading their towels made from human hides, are a far cry from the polite virtues of an eighteenth century Scottish gentleman such as Hume himself. Sometimes Hume hints that the crosscultural virtues – qualities that would be approved by any non-deluded and impartial human being – may be in short supply. He often seems to be more interested in anatomizing what are regarded as virtues than in arguing that a particular set of virtues is the real cross-cultural thing.

How does it relate to the natural properties instantiated by the action? How do we have epistemic access to the property? How do we confirm whether something does or does not instantiate the property? The difficulty of answering such questions may lead one to reject the presupposition that prompted them: one might deny that in making a moral judgement we are engaging in the assignment of properties at all. Such a rejection, roughly speaking, is the noncognitivist proposal. Second, the noncognitivist might claim the advantage of more readily accounting for certain aspects of moral disagreement – for example, its vehemence and intractability (see Stevenson, 1963, Essays 1 and 2).

The difficulty of answering such questions may lead one to reject the presupposition that prompted them: one might deny that in making a moral judgement we are engaging in the assignment of properties at all. Such a rejection, roughly speaking, is the noncognitivist proposal. Second, the noncognitivist might claim the advantage of more readily accounting for certain aspects of moral disagreement – for example, its vehemence and intractability (see Stevenson, 1963, Essays 1 and 2). The third traditional consideration in favour of noncognitivism is the subject of our attention: that noncognitivism does a better job than its rival of explaining the apparent motivational efficacy of moral judgement (see Smith, 1994, Chapters 1–2).

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