The Alliance of Virtue and Vanity in Hume's Moral Theory

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):595-614 (2012)
In this article I argue that vanity, the desire for and delight in the favorable opinion of others, plays a fundamental role in Hume's account of moral motivation. Hume says that vanity and virtue are inseparable, though he does not explicitly say how or why this should be. I argue that Hume's account of sympathy can explain this alliance. In resting moral sentiment on sympathy, Hume gives a fundamental role to vanity as it becomes either a mediating motive to virtue or else strengthens the otherwise weak motive of moral sentiment
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2012.01440.x
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David Hume (2007/2006). Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. In Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya (eds.), Philosophical Review. Blackwell Pub. Ltd. 338-339.

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