The main basis for Hume’s argument about public utility, approbation from the general population or a desirable outcome, comes from the fact that reason doesn’t cause our actions but that we are actually motivated by our passions and sentiments. Hume also states that we must care about the outcome in order to care about how that said outcome is achieved. The basis for Hume’s claim that public utility is defined by our passions and sentiments comes from the statement that the outcome must be useful to many others for that said outcome to be virtuous. Hume states that the natural virtues such as compassion, generosity and friendship motivate us to act rather than reason. Hume explains how public utility is what determines an action, he says “And as the public utility of these virtues is the chief circumstance, whence they derive their merit, it follows, that at the end, which they have a tendency to p...
... middle of paper ...
...ere is considerable moral value. The man expects nothing in return and acts only on his good will for the sake of his duty to someone in need. The water company has greater public utility than the man who only affected one person but the morality of the man triumphs the water company because his actions are intrinsically moral unlike the water company who used immoral means to bring about usefulness.
In conclusion, Hume proposes that we act upon sentiments and that public utility is what drives moral action. Kant however argues that a good will is all that is needed for an action to have any significant moral value. Kant is correct in his statement because public utility doesn’t actually determine whether or not an action is moral. One’s good will is always moral because it is not affected by any ulterior motives or by any expected result. It is intrinsically good.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- What is a moral. This is a question that has plagued philosophers for many years. Is it possible to have a set of universal morals. There are many questions that surround the mystery of morals. They seem to drive our every action. We base our decisions on what is right and what is wrong. But what is it that actually determines what is right and what is wrong. Is it our sense of reason. Is it our sense of sentiment. This is a question that David Hume spent much of his life pondering. What exactly is it that drives our actions.... [tags: essays research papers]
1523 words (4.4 pages)
- Hume was the first thinker to point out the implications of the "representative theory of perception." He had inherited this theory from both his rationalist and empiricist predecessors. According to this view, when one says that he/she perceives something such as an apple, what it actually means is that the one has in the mind a mental idea or image or impression. Such a datum is an internal, mental, subjective representation of something that I assume to be an external, physical, fact.... [tags: Empiricists, Empiricism]
701 words (2 pages)
- In his Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Hume offers up a number of virtues and qualities which are valued for any of four reasons: they are useful to the individual, useful to society, agreeable to the individual, or agreeable to society. One of the qualities which Hume elucidates is justice. This quality, however, according to Hume, is valued solely for its usefulness and not upon any agreeability to anyone. Hume explains his position thusly. Hume imagines a scenario in which all things are both readily available and easy to obtain.... [tags: essays research papers]
1210 words (3.5 pages)
- David Hume’s essay, "Of The Standard of Taste," is one of the most revered of the copious works on what is referred to as aesthetics. Although, he is better known for his other works, such as, "A treatise of human Nature," "An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding," and "An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals," all in which he shows how limited a role reason has in the lives of humans. This subjective view is also present in "Of The Standard of Taste": aesthetic judgments are based on personal feeling more than they are on reason.... [tags: principles of morals, aesthetic judgement]
1366 words (3.9 pages)
- Everyone will easily agree that there is a noticeable difference between the perceptions of the mind. David Hume recognises these differences and divides the mental contents into two classes, which are ideas, and impressions. Hume has provided arguments in order to support his claim of the ‘Copy Principle’, which state that ideas are copies of impressions, and every idea is derived from an impression. He proposes this principle, in an attempt to explain how we form the beliefs about the world. While his claim is wildly accepted by many philosophers, there are still problems to his principle which Hume ignored as something insufficient.... [tags: Mind, Thought, Logic, Philosophy]
751 words (2.1 pages)
- Universal morals for everyone Can a human beings in society behave in a moral way at all times. Is there truly universal moral principles for everyone. Does it seem right that human beings can never be morally right when breaking a universal rule (Rosenstand, 2016). These are some of the most problematic and most challenging questions that moralists have attempted to clarify. Obviously, something is keeping society half-way civilized and able to resolve moral value conflicts. Universal morals are like societies set of unwritten rules that are forced onto a developed society.... [tags: Morality, Religion, Ethics, Human]
1201 words (3.4 pages)
- #Beliefs, Morals and Values, # Beliefs, Morals and Values Application According to Webster’s II New College Dictionary a belief is the mental act, condition, or habit of placing trust or confidence in a person or thing and mental acceptance of or conviction in the truth or actuality of something (1995). A belief consists of anything believed by conviction or faith; a belief can be something accepted as true (Weber, 2002). Beliefs are convictions; trust or confidence placed in a person or thing (Encarta, 1999).... [tags: Morals]
1538 words (4.4 pages)
- To quote Jeremy Bentham in his book An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, in regard to the consciousness of animals, "The question is not, 'Can they reason. ' nor, 'Can they talk. ' but rather, 'Can they suffer. '. It is far too common for us as humans – the top of the food chain - to forget that we are not the only beings on the planet capable of thought. It is very simple to lump together all the creatures deemed as unintelligent or insentient together and basically de-animalize them – stripping them of their own evolutionary accomplishments and cognitive or mental development.... [tags: Meat, Nutrition, Vegetarianism, Veganism]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- Within the current climate of educational reform, where changes to the national curriculum are accused of being focused on acquiring knowledge (Coughlan, 2013), much debate has arisen regarding the importance of practical scientific enquiry as a tool for promoting scholarship (Wellcome Trust, 2013: ASDC, 2013). Through the course of school inspections, carried out in both primary and secondary schools between 2007 and 2010, OfSTED (2011:1) found that the ‘development of the skills of scientific enquiry were key factors in promoting pupils’ engagement, learning and progress.’ Therefore, in accordance with new curriculum guidance (Department for Education, 2013:144), the teaching of science t... [tags: Scientific Enquiry, Collaborative Inquiry Learning]
2200 words (6.3 pages)
- Comparing Knowledge in Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy and Hume’s An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Rationalists would claim that knowledge comes from reason or ideas, while empiricists would answer that knowledge is derived from the senses or impressions. The difference between these two philosophical schools of thought, with respect to the distinction between ideas and impressions, can be examined in order to determine how these schools determine the source of knowledge.... [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)