Expressivism, motivation internalism, and Hume
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Charles R. Pigden (ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue. Palgrave Macmillan (2010)
As a metaethicist, I am interested in whether expressivism is true, and thus interested in whether the argument that people think they find in Hume is a sound one. Not being a Hume scholar (but merely a devoted fan), I am less interested in whether Hume really was an expressivist or whether he really did present an argument in its favor. Hume’s metaethical views are very difficult to nail down, and by a careful selection of quotes one can present him as advocating expressivism, or cognitivist subjectivism, or moral skepticism, or a dispositional theory, or an ideal observer theory, or even utilitarianism. It is entirely possible that Hume’s position is indeterminate when considered against these terms of modern moral philosophy; it is also entirely possible that he was hopelessly confused (much as it pains me to admit it). However, I doubt very much that Hume should be interpreted as an expressivist in any straightforward manner, and therefore I am doubtful that he should be interpreted as arguing in its favor. Most of this paper does not discuss Hume directly at all: I critically discuss the motivation argument and I advocate a certain positive metaethical view—one that mixes elements of traditional expressivism with elements of cognitivism. This position is neutral between moral realism and radical moral skepticism. I close by wondering—very briefly— whether Hume might have held such a view. Given my reservations about the determinacy of Hume’s metaethical outlook, the case is not pressed with any vigor, but because it is an interpretation of Hume that has not, so far as I know, been articulated before, it may be of interest to note that it seems to be consistent with much of what he says—at least as much as any other precise interpretation
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rico Vitz (2004). Sympathy and Benevolence in Hume's Moral Psychology. Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (3):261-275.
Charles Pigden (2010). Snare's Puzzle/Hume's Purpose: Non-Cognitivism and What Hume Was Really Up to with No-Ought-From-Is. In Pigden (ed.), Hume on Is and Ought. Palgrave Macmillan.
Charles R. Pigden (ed.) (2009). Hume on Motivation and Virtue: New Essays. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nancy Schauber (2009). Complexities of Character: Hume on Love and Responsibility. Hume Studies 35 (1):29-55.
Constantine Sandis (2009). Hume and the Debate on 'Motivating Reasons'. In Charles Pigden (ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue. Palgrave Macmillan.
Nancy Schauber (2009). Complexities of Character. Hume Studies 35 (1/2):29-55.
Ryu Susato (2006). Hume's Nuanced Defense of Luxury. Hume Studies 32 (1):167-186.
John Corvino (2008). Hume and the Second-Quality Analogy. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (2):157-173.
Paul Russell (1995). Freedom and Moral Sentiment: Hume's Way of Naturalizing Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
Elizabeth S. Radcliffe (2006). Moral Internalism and Moral Cognitivism in Hume's Metaethics. Synthese 152 (3):353 - 370.
Added to index2009-09-28
Total downloads33 ( #72,793 of 1,696,233 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #333,716 of 1,696,233 )
How can I increase my downloads?