ABSTRACT: The term "virtue" has traditionally been used to designate morally good character traits such as benevolence, charity, honesty, wisdom, and honor. Although ethicists do not commonly offer a definitive list of virtues, the number of virtues discussed is often short and their moral significance is clear. Hume's analysis of the virtues departs from this tradition both in terms of the quantity of virtues discussed and their obvious moral significance. A conservative estimate of the various virtues Hume refers to in his moral writings would put the number at around seventy, with the more untraditional ones including wit, good manners, and dialog. Unsurprisingly, Hume's critics have attacked him for making nonsense of the concept of virtue by construing it so widely. Hume was aware that his broad understanding of virtue was controversial and he offered several defenses for it. After presenting the neglected attacks of his contemporaries along with Hume's response, I argue that a problem remains: by failing to distinguish between degrees of virtue, Hume also fails to distinguish between degrees of vice. But, some vices (e.g., malevolence) clearly deserve punishment whereas other alleged vices (e.g., uncleanliness) clearly do not. Thus, for adequate retribution, a distinction is needed between important and less important virtues and vices. I conclude that Hume could have used his own account of instinctive vengeance as a natural indicator for distinguishing between important and unimportant vices.
The term "virtue" has traditionally been used to designate morally good character traits such as benevolence, charity, honesty, wisdom, and honor. Although ethicists, past and present, do ...
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...f John Leland's A view of the principal deistical writers..., in the Monthly Review, 1757, Vol. 14, pp. 465-477, and in the Critical Review, 1756, Vol. 1, pp. 193-208.
(12) James Beattie, Essay on the nature and immutability of truth in opposition to sophistry and scepticism. 1770, Edinburgh, A. Kincaid and J. Bell, pp. 421-448.
(13) "Character of the Works of David Hume Esq," in The Weekly Magazine or Edinburgh Amusement, 1773, Vol. 22, pp. 233-234.
(14) "Tobias Simple," "Strictures on the account of the life and writings of David Hume," in Weekly Magazine, or Edinburgh Review, 1777, Vol. 38, pp. 289-292.
(15) C. L. Stevenson, Ethics and Language, (New Haven: 1944), pp. 34-35.
(16) Pall S. Ardal, Passion and Value, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1966), pp. 160-161.
(17) J. L. Mackie, Hume's Moral Theory, (London: Routledge, 1980), p. 129.
In this essay, the author
Analyzes hume's wide construal of the virtues and concludes that he could have used his own account of instinctive vengeance as an indicator for distinguishing between important and unimportant vices.
Analyzes how hume's analysis of the virtues departs from the tradition of morally good character traits such as benevolence, charity, honesty, wisdom, and honor.
Concludes that hume could have used his own account of instinctive vengeance as a natural indicator distinguishing between important and unimportant vices.
Analyzes hume's argument that the distinction between natural abilities and moral virtues is unfounded since both groups elicit the same sympathetic moral feelings in the spectator.
Analyzes how hume suggests that the precise feelings elicited in the spectator designate two separate classes, and that natural abilities are involuntary whereas moral virtues are the result of free will.
Analyzes how hume's moral theory appeared with much greater success in his enquiry concerning the principles of morals (1751).
Explains that every attribute of the mind renders a man an object either of esteem and affection, or of hatred and contempt; every habit or sentiment or faculty implies praise or blame, and may enter into any panegyric or satire of his character and manners.
Argues that virtues fall into at least one of four categories according to the consequences they produce. personal merit is the possession of mental qualities, useful or agreeable to oneself or others.
Analyzes how hume boldly applies the enquiry to as many mental attributes of an agent as he can. he argues that elaborate ethical systems have perverted our natural understanding.
Opines that hume's broad understanding of virtues came in a private correspondence from francis hutcheson in 1739, from whom he solicited comments on book iii of the treatise.
Analyzes how hume argues that calling virtues follows a common use of language, especially when considering the way classical writers such as cicero used the term.
Explains that critics attacked the broad understanding of the virtues contained in the enquiry. the anonymous pamphlet examined the foundations of morality.
Analyzes how hume's "notion" is that whatever, in character or conduct, is approved as useful, and thus, by reducing morality into the same class in which we place some trifling qualities, destroys moral distinctions altogether.
Analyzes how argues that hume distinguishes between a spectator's pleasure and that resulting from inanimate objects.
Explains that james balfour made a similar attack in his anonymously published a delineation of the nature and obligation of morality.
Explains that humanity has paved the way to enrich mankind with the possession of a thousand virtues that were never once dreamt of before. strange morality extends itself to inanimate things.
Analyzes how balfour misunderstood hume by accusing him of extending virtue to inanimate objects.
Analyzes how john leland continued the assault in volume two of his a view of the principal deistical writers.
Analyzes how leland takes hume to task for the unnecessary attributes he includes under the heading of virtue, and for leaving out key christian virtues, such as humility.
Opines that justice, humanity, generosity, excite approbation; a handsome face excites apprehending; and great genius excrement. the effect or sentiment produced is the same in each instance.
Opines that beattie's approbation of a fine face is different in kind from her one of great genius.
Analyzes how the wide construal of the virtues in hume's moral theory was attacked not only in philosophical works, but also in biographical sketches.
Analyzes how our author's definition of virtue is very singular. it is the possession of useful or agreeable qualities to ourselves or others.
Analyzes how the attacks demonstrate a dissatisfaction with hume's failure to distinguish between natural abilities and moral virtues.
Analyzes hume's defense for construing the virtues so widely. he suggests possible points of distinction, such as voluntary and involuntary, social and private, moral and intellectual
Argues that hume's second argument is based on our broad usage of ethical language, particularly the moral injunctions that are used in reference to moral virtues as well as natural abilities.
Opines that hume's wide construal of virtues was controversial, but contemporary scholars don't address the issue. ardal and mackie agree that no clear-cut criterion to distinguish the specifically moral is in use.
Analyzes mackie's suggestion that virtues are dispositions which we choose to cultivate, often for reasons of social pressure or from many other motives.
Analyzes hume's apparent success at deflecting the charges of critics, but one might still contend that the two groups of character traits do differ significantly in kind.
Explains that hume's inclination to punish is specific to agents' provoking action and not merely a reaction we have against enemies in general.
Opines that when they receive any injury from another, they feel a violent passion of resentment, which makes them desire his evil and punishment, independent of all considerations of pleasure and advantage to themselves.
Explains that an agent's character trait is a moral vice only if it produces feelings of moral pain in the spectator and incites their desire for punishment.
Opines that hume did not choose to distinguish between moral virtues and natural abilities for whatever reason. had he adopted it, his moral theory would have stood pretty much as it is now.
Describes hume's definition of approving sentiments of moral pleasure in a spectator, citing foot and selby-bigge.
Analyzes how william rose's review of hume’s moral enquiry emphasizes his broad understanding of the virtues.
Analyzes some late opinions concerning the foundations of morality examined.
Analyzes james balfour's a delineation of the nature and obligation of morality with reflexions upon mr. hume’s book.
Reviews james balfour's a delineation... in the monthly review, 1753, vol. 8, pp. 364-372, and john leland, a view of the principal deistical writers.
Analyzes james beattie's essay on the nature and immutability of truth in opposition to sophistry and scepticism.
Unlike rationalists, Hume believes that reason is not the motive to the will, but merely the slave of the passions. Morals are not within the immediate grasp of reason, because reason alone cannot desire anything but merely find out a way to actualize the end; It is the passion that desires and dictates our wills.
In this essay, the author
Explains that hume believes that reason is not the motive to the will, but the slave of the passions. morals are not within the immediate grasp of reason, because reason alone cannot desire anything but merely find out a way to actualize the end.
Explains that hume's moral philosophy is based on the assumption that human beings are intrinsically driven by pleasure. moral sense theory stipulates that we gain concepts of moral good and evil by experiencing the satisfaction of approval.
Analyzes how hume argues that sympathy, or theory of the mind, plays a significant role in the perception of virtues and vices.
Argues that the logical confusion of hume's account of morality is relativism rather than objectivity.
Explains that some virtues that used to be regarded as good to society may not be valuable today.
Analyzes hume's claim that since human beings share the faculty from which sympathy is generated, virtues that are felt by the very same sympathy are of the same standard.
Argues that there could be a contradiction between what one finds pleasurable while others do not, and vice versa. hume's unfaithfulness caused uneasiness to the majority of citizens.
David Hume sought out to express his opinion on ethics in which sentiment is seen as the grounding basis for morality. These theories can be seen as a response to the theories proposed by philosophers where they believed reason is considered to be the basis for morality. In this following essay I will show how Hume provides an argument in favor of sentiment being the foundation of our morality, rather than reason. To do this, I will begin to outline Hume’s ethical theories, highlighting his main ideas for grounding morality on sentiment and bring up some possible counterarguments that might potentially weaken this argument.
In this essay, the author
Explains that hume sought to express his opinion on ethics in which sentiment is seen as the grounding basis for morality.
Analyzes how hume based his position in ethics off of what some would describe his naturalistic, or empirical theory of the mind.
Explains that hume takes the belief of what would be considered moral sense theorists where we gain awareness of moral evil and good by experiencing the uneasiness of disapproval and the pleasure of approval when we think of a character trait or action from an unbiased point of view.
Explains hume's belief that reason is the base foundation to discover anything in a situation, or general social impact, while sentiment/taste ultimately comes down to our ability to feel pleasure and pain
Explains that kant rejects sentiment as a basis for morality, saying we are motivated by our duty or our reason. hume's empiricist method fails at achieving universality.
Explains hume's view that reason is concerned with truth or falsehood, but neither of these qualities have ends, and ultimately do not motivate action.
Explains hume's claim that in order to make a moral judgment, one must keep in mind all the relevant aspects of the situation, and recognize all relevant ideas. passions or sentiment create disapproval or approval.
Analyzes hume's belief that passion plays the dominant role in motivating action, and that reason is merely a "slave of the passions."
Analyzes how argues that reason cannot be the motive to moral action. morality in the sense of its fundamental moral principles doesn't have the ability to be grounded in reason.
Opines that hume's empirical method is superior to kant’s when understanding the root of morality. he recognizes that we need to use our reason to understand knowledge, but it is our passion and sentiment that drive us to make moral decisions.
For the purposes of this essay human virtue is defined as a trait or ability such that one who has that trait or ability would be considered excellent and thus virtuous by human standards. Additionally it is important to keep
In this essay, the author
Argues that virtue is an abstract concept that it is impossible for individuals or societies as a whole to clearly and unequivocally define it. human beings alone are only able to speculate as to the nature of human virtue.
Explains that human virtue is defined as a trait or ability such that one who has it would be considered excellent and thus virtuous by human standards.
Explains that people are products of their environments, but there are two distinct types of environments: healthy and unhealthy.
Explains that healthy and unhealthy should not be taken as either inherently positive or negative in this context. an environment that can be healthy for one person may be unhealthy for another.
Analyzes how different societies value certain traits over others, and explains that while americans emphasize personal achievement, chinese culture discourages innovation and originality.
Explains that in unhealthy environments, people don't adopt the values that their society believes in. this could be because those values are perceived as oppressive, unjust, or unfair.
Explains that people's beliefs and values were influenced by the injustice they saw in their environments and the want for things to change.
Explains that the way people view human virtue is widely disputed across countries and cultures. no two societies share the exact same beliefs.
Argues that the argument that human virtues are intrinsic and have always simply existed is incorrect. since humanity is unaware of pre-existing standards of virtue, it can be argued that humanity has no obligation to live up to those standards.
Concludes that even if there were some kind of innately human idea of virtue it would not apply to humans and would therefore not exist.
Examines whether or not humanity would be better off if it could make that type of decision on its own. people trust doctors to make medical decisions because they know the most about the field.
Analyzes how death is personified as a remarkably human character in markus zusak's the book thief. he sees, experiences, and feels just as humans do, but his view is not limited to his immediate surroundings.
Argues that humanity alone is incapable of setting the standards for human excellence all people must strive for, implying that there must be something more.
In the present world we’re often taught key principles in order to live a flourishing life. Young children especially are often reared in school to become successful, and be the best they can be; and be a good person. We pose the question what does it mean to be a good person? According to Jacques Thiroux & Keith Krasemann mentions, when individuals apply these virtuous behaviors into their daily lives it promotes a decent human being (Thiroux & Krasemann, pg 78). This paper will examine the argument how having virtues can promote a balance in today’s society, and how this virtue ethics can also pose a problem.
In this essay, the author
Analyzes how virtue ethics can promote a balance in today's society.
Explains how thiroux & krasemann expresses how the establishment of virtues is based on the measurement of righteous perceptions.
Analyzes how thiroux & krasemann's conclusion is valid because it creates an impartial and regulated community.
Analyzes how thiroux & krasemann's theory gives support to his argument, but there are some objections in regards to virtue ethics.
Explains that virtue is defined as someone who has lively, stable, self-assurance and ambition. some may argue that it doesn't give room for diversity in regards to making mistakes.
Explains that would express virtues is modified and that individual determines what’s convenient aim for them. virtue ethics varies from person to person.
Argues that virtue ethics isn't something to follow in a specific way, but incorporating understanding and feelings behind these virtues.
Concludes that virtues can promote a sense of balance and discuss the problem it may have. virtues is all about using righteous reasonings and creating the poster child individual.
"Moral Character (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 15 Jan. 2003. Web. 20 Aug. 2011. .
In this essay, the author
Explains that teaching character extends into prehistory. early greek philosophers such as socrates, plato, and aristotle believed that happiness requires virtue.
Describes the stanford encyclopedia of philosophy's taoism.
Argues that integrity and honesty among other virtues and morals were unintentionally taught to our society via religious scriptures, nonacademic lessons in public schools, and child rearing methods used by parents.
Explains that in eastern philosophy, the nature of man is quiet and calm until tarnished with material desires, which seed the main points of confucianism and taoism.
Explains how the institute of education sciences (ies) home page, a part of the u.s. department of education, reports on character education.
Morality derives from the Latin moralitas meaning, “manner, character, or proper behavior.” In light of this translation, the definition invites the question of what composes “proper behavior” and who defines morality through these behaviors, whether that be God, humanity, or an amalgamation of both. Socrates confronted the moral dilemma in his discourses millennia ago, Plato refined his concepts in his Republic, and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi would commit their life work to defining and applying the term to political reform. Finally, after so many years, Martin Luther King’s “A Letter from Birmingham Jail” reaches a consensus on the definition of morality, one that weighs the concepts of justice and injustice to describe morality as the
In this essay, the author
Analyzes how martin luther king's "a letter from birmingham jail" reaches a consensus on the definition of morality.
Analyzes how king addresses his audience with the goal of defining morality and illustrating its role in upholding the just society.
Analyzes how king suggests that the human facet of morality is most vulnerable. the creation of law derives from what man interprets through god as proper or improper.
Analyzes how king's definition of morality squares with today’s human rights violations in syria. his open letter often compares the state of american social injustice with other nations.
Analyzes how king's definition of morality demonstrates efficacy at making the quiet bystander feel amongst the perpetrators.
David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion provide conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it, and how their knowledge can affect their religious beliefs. The most compelling situation relates to philosophical skepticism and religion; the empiricist character, Cleanthes, strongly defends his position that skepticism is beneficial to religious belief. Under fire from an agnostic skeptic and a rationalist, the empiricist view on skepticism and religion is strongest in it’s defense. This debate is a fundamental part of the study of philosophy: readers must choose their basic understanding of the universe and it’s creator, upon which all other assumptions about the universe will be made. In this three-sided debate, Hume’s depiction of an empiricist is clearly the winner.
In this essay, the author
Analyzes how hume's dialogues concerning natural religion provides conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it, and how their knowledge can affect their religious beliefs.
Analyzes how demea, the rationalist, cleanthes, and philo debate their ideas about the universe in part i.
Argues that demea's theology resembles a "god of the gaps" perspective, where failings of science and philosophy are more reason to believe that god exists within the things we cannot explain.
Analyzes how philo heckles the ideas of demea while imposing his own ideas. as an empiricist, he believes that humans have no right to speculate about theology.
Opines that cleanthes' rebuttal to these arguments is the most logical way to view skepticism in its relation to religion.
Analyzes how cleanthes makes a strong argument against philo, the skeptic, by questioning the practicality of his views.
Analyzes how cleanthes' optimistic, realistic approach to philosophy is dissected by philo and demea. skeptics desire full proof for every judgement about the universe and find it difficult to accept that anything is true.
Argues that demea's rationalist points of view are unjustifiable as science because more and more precise.
Concludes that cleanthes' argument is the most applicable and believable argument about skepticism. it addresses the way that humans gather evidence.
Describes hume's dialogues concerning natural religion. st. anselm'
"There are more things n heaven and Earth than dreamt of in your philosophy" (Shakespeare, 211). This quote from William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark presents quite an idea. It suggests that in our modern philosophy we have not even began to scratch the surface of what causes the nature of things around us. Our philosophy is centered on the idea of cause and effect. Whether a person realizes it, every standpoint that they argue from is based on a cause and/or its effect. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this, but most people don't bother to analyze what the true connection is between a cause and it's effect. David Hume does an outstanding job of presenting a point of view that many people do not consider at all. He asks what is this connection and what makes us impose this connection immediately. If all of our findings are based on causes and their effects, and yet, we do not completely understand the connection between the latter, then how can we presume to hold our finding absolutely certain? Maybe this is partly what Shakespeare was hinting at in the aforementioned quote. Hume's exploration of the matter of cause and effect is an excellent tool for use in understanding the possibilities and limitations of our "matter of fact" knowledge.
In this essay, the author
Analyzes how hume's exploration of the matter of cause and effect is an excellent tool for understanding the possibilities and limitations of our "matter of fact" knowledge.
Analyzes how hume points out that humans are essentially ignorant to the world around them; everything that we understand is based on someone else's findings or research.
Analyzes how the modern scientific method allows for many ways to describe every imaginable characteristic of something.
Analyzes how hume's breakdown of causation is thorough and he tackles it in a general manner that his reasoning can still be at least appreciated.
Cites hume, david. an enquiry concerning human understanding. 5 may 1996.
Analyzes hume's argument that we are customary creatures who learn from experience and use methods and research to describe something as provable in our most typical situations.
In this paper, I shall summarise a portion of Hume's (1748) An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Namely, section four, Sceptical Doubts Concerning the Operations of the Understanding, and, section five, Sceptical Solutions of these Doubts, focusing on the text's key points.
In this essay, the author
Summarizes hume's an enquiry concerning human understanding, focusing on its key points.
Analyzes hume's argument that human reasoning and enquiry can be divided into two types, namely, relations of ideas and matters of fact.
Analyzes hume's argument that matter of fact is grounded on the relation of cause and effect.
Analyzes how hume asserts that experience is the foundation of our reasoning and conclusions concerning the relation of cause and effect.
Analyzes how hume introduces a thought experiment to bolster his position. he asks us to imagine the sudden introduction into the world of an individual with exceptional abilities of reasoning.
Explains that hume's experiment develops a history of experience, and from this he makes inferences regarding relations between things.
Explains hume's belief that custom guides life. it is less prone to being erroneous compared to deductions of reason.
Analyzes hume's work in sections two and three of an enquiry concerning human understanding and concludes that without custom, we are unable to understand the world.
Metaphysics is a division of philosophy that examines the basic nature of reality which includes relationship between mind and matter substance and attribute fact and value. David Hume, a Scottish philosopher and a historian, tries to approach the study of metaphysics mainly with the idea of empiricism.
In this essay, the author
Explains that metaphysics is a division of philosophy that examines the basic nature of reality, including relationship between mind and matter substance and attribute fact and value.
Explains that hume's metaphysics is often said to be modelled on newton’s successes in natural science, mainly physics. newton replicated and made empirical signs of human nature.
Analyzes how hume's concept of metaphysics became radical empiricism. he disagrees with the belief in causal necessity.