Exciting Reasons and Moral Rationalism in Hutcheson's Illustrations upon the Moral Sense

Abstract
One of the most oft-cited parts of Francis Hutcheson's Illustrations upon the Moral Sense is his discussion of "exciting reasons."1 In that discussion he defends what has come to be called, owing to its later association with David Hume, "the Humean view of motivation." My topic in this paper is the relation of that discussion to Hutcheson's critique of moral rationalism and, more generally, to his aims in the Illustrations. By ‘moral rationalism' I mean the view, held by Samuel Clarke, William Wollaston, and Gilbert Burnet (among others), that moral rightness is a form of fitness or agreement with truth, the perception of which is an act or judgment of reason.2 By ‘Hutcheson's critique of moral ..
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