Chastity and the Practice of the World In Hume's Treatise

Hume Studies 32 (2):331-345 (2006)
Abstract
Commentaries on the Treatise have not always been clear as to why Hume includes a discussion of the virtue of female chastity among the apparentlydifferent artificial virtues of justice, promises, and allegiance. Placing Hume’s discussion of chastity within its specific historical location can illuminate its presence and role in Book 3 of the Treatise and demonstrate how chastity is a virtue of social utility. An examination of the “practice of the world” can show how female chastity was a necessary virtue for the emerging “middling” classes of the eighteenth century in their pursuit of economic stability and social status
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