David Hume and Immanuel Kant each made a significant break from other theorists in putting forward a morality that doesn’t require a higher being or god, for a man to recognize his moral duty. Although Hume and Kant shared some basic principals they differed on their view of morality. In comparing the different views on human will and the maxims established to determine moral worth by David Hume and Immanuel Kant, I find their theories on morality have some merit although limited in view.
Hume and Kant shared some basic principle of empiricism, but each took different directions on the theory of morality. The moral theory of Hume was based on his belief that reason alone can never cause action. Hume proclaimed virtue is always accompanied by a feeling of pleasure, and vice by a bad feeling or pain. We are compelled to commit a virtuous action because it creates pleasant feelings, and we avoid doing a vicious act because it would cause pain or bad feelings. Hume's moral theory is a virtue-centered morality rather than the natural-law morality. On the other hand, Kant uses deontological ethics to base his morality on reason alone. Kant divides the world into two classes, beings with reason and a will like humans, and things that are considered inanimate and do not possess these qualities. The first class or humans are independent beings with their own purpose; having the capacity to reason and determine their own actions. The second class of inanimate things like rock or trees that don’t possess reason or will, do not require consideration in our deliberations about what goals should be or the means to achieve them. However, human beings do deserve considerations in the goals we should ...
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...losophy, Immanuel Kant’s Metaphysics (1724 – 1804) Retrieved October 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/k/kantmeta.htm#Empiricism
Kant. I, (2001). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Immanuel Kant’s Metaphysics (1724 – 1804): Duty Retrieved October 12, 2001 from the World Wide Web: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/k/kantmeta.htm#Empiricism
Hume. David, (1997-2001). Philosophy Pages: from Garth Kimerling. [Abstract]. Hume: Morality and Religion Retrieved November 01, 200 from the World Wide Web: http://www.philosophypages.com/hy/4v.htm#morality
Hume, David (2001). The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [Abstract]. Summary of Hume's Moral Theory, David Hume Moral Theory 1711-1776: Retrieved October 16, 200 from the World Wide Web: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/h/humemora.htm - Summary%20of%20Hume's%20Moral%20Theory
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