About this topic
Summary Hume's ethics emphasizes our common humanity and our capacity to develop moral sensibilities in response to varying circumstances. He argues that moral distinctions arise from our sympathizing with the effects of character traits on those who have them and the people they interact with. The resulting judgments can have intersubjective validity both because they are rooted in common human nature, and because we can correct our sentimental responses by taking up a "general point of view" in place of a more partial perspective. Hume's aesthetics and politics also reflect the idea that corrected and cultivated passions provide a basis for sound normative judgments. He argues that discerning critics can provide a standard of taste, and that such taste is a significant aspect of human life and character. Although various political parties have claimed him as a supporter, Hume contends that philosophers should be unpartisan. He argues against both Lockean and Hobbesian contract theories and limits the right to resist sovereigns to extreme cases.
Key works

Hume's Treatise of Human Nature contains his initial exposition of his theory of the passions and morals. He later published an edited account of the former in A Dissertation on the Passions. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is Hume's mature statement of his moral theory and the work that he believed to be his best. Although the above works include some material relevant to his aesthetics and political philosophy, the Essays, Moral, Political and Literary contain lengthier discussions of these aspects of Hume's thought. Also relevant, particularly to Hume's political views, is his History of England. The Clarendon Press has published critical editions of the Treatise (Norton & Norton 2007), the Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (Beauchamp 1998), and the Dissertation on the Passions (together with The Natural History of Religion) (Hume 2007). Liberty Fund offers editions of both the Essays (Miller 1987) and History of England (Todd 1983).

Introductions Norton & Taylor 2008 and Radcliffe 2008 include many helpful articles that could serve as introductions to Hume's ethics, aesthetics, and social and political philosophy. Lists of the many book-length treatments of Hume's ethics and politics are available online at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Zalta 2004, open-access) and The Routledge Encylopedia of Philosophy (Craig 1996, subscription required). Townsend 2001 is notable as a comprehensive study of Hume's aesthetics. Ardal 1966 is a classic treatment of Hume's theory of the passions.
Related categories

3094 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 3094
Material to categorize
  1. Hume come teorico della virtù: varietà e differenze d'interpretazione.Lorenzo Greco - 2018 - I Castelli di Yale 6 (2):93-110.
  2. Hume’s Appeal to the Calm Passions.Hsueh Qu - 2018 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 100 (4):444-469.
    Hume argues that whenever we seem to be motivated by reason, there are unnoticed calm passions that play this role instead, a move that is often criticised as ad hoc. In response, some commentators propose a conceptual rather than empirical reading of Hume’s conativist thesis, either as a departure from Hume, or as an interpretation or rational reconstruction. I argue that conceptual accounts face a dilemma: either they render the conativist thesis trivial, or they violate Hume’s thesis that ‘a priori, (...)
  3. Galanteria E Polidez. Sobre o Ivanhoe de Scott E David Hume.Marcos Fonseca Ribeiro Balieiro - 2017 - Discurso 47 (2):167-181.
  4. Literatura E Formação Moral Em Jane Austen E David Hume.Marcos Ribeiro Balieiro - 2014 - Discurso 44:145-160.
  5. Working Out the Details of Hume and Smith on Sympathy.John McHugh - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (4):683-696.
    many scholars have had interesting things to say about the relationship between Adam Smith's and David Hume's theories of sympathy. The diversity of angles taken in these discussions demonstrates how fertile a topic of investigation this relationship is. There have been excellent discussions of the role that sympathy plays in each philosopher's account of moral judgment,1 of how sympathy functions in their attacks on egoism,2 of how to situate their theories in relation to the concept of empathy,3 of how to (...)
  6. Hume's Moral Psychology and Contemporary Psychology, Edited by Philip Reed and Rico Vitz. [REVIEW]Angela Coventry - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  7. David Hume’un Siyaset Felsefesinin Epistemolojik ve Etik İçerimleri.Mehmet Türkan & Zehragül Aşkın - 2013 - Beytulhikme An International Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):25-51.
    Siyaset felsefesinde David Hume, adaletin kökenine ilişkin tartışmalarda rasyonalist ve sözleşmeci yaklaşımlara karşı güçlü bir empirist karşı çıkışı ifade eder. Nitekim adaletin apriori ve ussal bir temeli olduğu argümanına karşıt bir yaklaşımla, düşüncelerini tarihsel-şüpheci bir çizgiye oturtan Hume’un adaletin kökenine ilişkin açıklamaları 20. yüzyılda Hayek ve Nozik’te yeniden yaşam bulmuştur. Bu bağlamda makale Hume’un adalet kuramının etik içerimini konu edinmektedir.
  8. Juan A. Mercado: Entre El Interés y la Benevolencia. La Ética de David Hume, Berna: Peter Lang, 2013. [REVIEW]Eduardo Charpenel - 2014 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 46:244-248.
  9. Hume and Smith Studies After Forbes and Trevor-Roper.Max Skjönsberg - forthcoming - European Journal of Political Theory.
    The ‘Scottish Enlightenment’ has fostered a steadily growing academic industry since Duncan Forbes and Hugh Trevor-Roper put the subject on the map in the 1960s. David Hume and Adam Smith have from the start been widely considered as its leading thinkers, and their thoughts on politics have attracted an increasing amount of attention in recent years. Two new publications invite readers to reflect on the state of the art in Scottish Enlightenment studies in general, and especially Hume and Smith scholarship. (...)
  10. David Hume E o “Número de Dunbar”: Uma Abordagem Evolucionista Sobre Os Fundamentos da Moralidade.Marcelo de Araujo - 2016 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 61 (1):89-106.
    O objetivo deste artigo é caracterizar o conceito de justiça como uma convenção social indispensável para a emergência de obrigações morais no contexto de grupos que ultrapassam o “numero de Dunbar”. O artigo retoma, por um lado, a teoria da justiça proposta por David Hume na terceira seção de Uma Investigação sobre os Princípios da Moral, e, por outro lado, a hipótese de Robin Dunbar acerca do número máximo de indivíduos com os quais uma pessoa pode manter relações sociais estáveis (...)
  11. Narratividade Histórica E Natureza Humana Em Hume.Fabiano Lemos - 2014 - Veritas – Revista de Filosofia da Pucrs 59 (3):523-549.
    O artigo pretende discutir o estatuto da narratividade na obra de Hume, não apenas como metodologia, mas como o único meio através do qual a natureza humana ela mesma pode ser abordada no interior de seu projeto de uma ciência do homem. Em uma perspectiva exclusivamente empírica, a história se revela como o nível de composição de narrações – tanto no estudo dos costumes quanto ao lidar com a formação das relações de ideias. A leitura de muitos comentadores de Hume, (...)
  12. La benevolencia ilustrada en la moral social de Hume.Margarita Costa - 1993 - Páginas de Filosofía (Universidad Nacional del Comahue) 3 (1):1-6.
    Hume llama virtudes a ciertas cualidades, no de las acciones aisladas sino del carácter de quien las ejecuta, que despiertan en nosotros un senti­miento de aprobación. Esas cualidades pueden ser agradables o útiles a la persona que las posee, como la templanza, la sobriedad, la paciencia o el orden y pueden ser agradables o útiles a los demás, como el ingenio, la ge­nerosidad, la benevolencia o la justicia. Las virtudes del primer tipo y las del segundo no son excluyentes, ya (...)
  13. Maquiavel E Hume Sobre a Natureza da Lei E Seus Fundamentos Sociais.Maria Isabel Limongi - 2018 - Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia 59 (140):571-589.
    RESUMO Trata-se de aproximar Hume e Maquiavel, tomando-os como os expoentes de uma certa corrente não jusnaturalista, formada no início da idade moderna, quanto ao modo de pensar a natureza da lei e, num sentido amplo, a normatividade jurídico-política. Apesar de ter sofrido influência da escola moderna de direito natural, Hume rompe com ela num ponto fundamental - na recusa da noção de pessoa como ponto de partida para pensar a gênese social do ordenamento jurídico-político. No lugar disso, ele pensou (...)
  14. Princípiosnorteadores da Filosofia Moral de David Hume.André Luiz Holanda de Oliveira - 2015 - Revista Opinião Filosófica 6 (1).
    O presente artigo objetiva apresentar os princípios norteadores da filosofia moral de David Hume. Para tanto se buscará demonstrar que a razão é escrava das paixões, que os juízos morais não são demonstráveis, nem refletem a realidade objetiva, para por fim, demonstrar a importância da utilidade.
  15. David Hume E as Paixões Indiretas Na Sociedade Em Rede.Tiago Porto & Agemir Bavaresco - 2013 - Revista Opinião Filosófica 4 (2).
    O presente artigo pretende trazer à discussão a importância da Teoria das Paixões desenvolvida por David Hume como um horizonte interpretativo para as ações dos indivíduos conetados às redes sociais da Internet. Para tanto, este trabalho abordará inicialmente o que conhecemos por sociedade em rede e o importante papel desempenhado pela Internet nessa configuração social; em seguida, analisaremos como as paixões indiretas influenciam os indivíduos conectados à rede internacional de computadores.
  16. Virtude E Sentimento Moral: Normatividade Em Hume?Flávia Carvalho Chagas - 2013 - Revista Opinião Filosófica 4 (1).
    Não é raro encontrarmos em livros introdutórios sobre ética a concepção humeana como precursora ou seguidora do utilitarismo moral ou sentimentalismo moral, este último, mais conhecido contemporaneamente como emotivismo moral. Neste paper pretendo esboçar, sem pretender oferecer argumentos conclusivos, uma outra alternativa de leitura da filosofia moral de Hume, a qual pressupõe o tratamento da figura do sentimento moral vinculada à noção de virtude na tentativa de investigar a possibilidade de que Hume oferece uma justificação de uma normatividade fraca.
  17. Doing Justice to the Is-Ought Gap.Matt Silliman & David K. Braden-Johnson - 2018 - Social Philosophy Today 34:117-132.
    The two characters in this philosophical dialogue, Russell Steadman and Jules Govier, take up the meaning and significance of David Hume’s famous “is-ought gap”—the proscription on inferring a fully moral claim from any number of purely descriptive statements. Building on the recent work of Hilary Putnam and John F. Post, Jules attempts to show that Hume’s rule is of little consequence when discussing matters related to justice or morality as we encounter them in daily life. He derives his conclusion from (...)
  18. La teoría del juicio moral en David Hume: un movimiento a tres tiempos.Alejandro Ordieres - 2017 - Estudios 15 (121):39-53.
    In David Hume’s A Treatise of Human Nature, reason and passion are in constant interaction forming belief. Moral events are distinguished on three levels: moral sentiment, moral action and moral judgment, in which reason and passion interact, although with different functions at each level.
  19. Understanding Rationality in Hobbes and Hume.Hun Chung - 2014 - Filozofia 69 (8):687-696.
    Many commentators think that Hobbes was committed to an instrumental view of rationality which foreshadows that of David Hume. The Humean conception of instrumental rationality is a conjunction of the following two claims: (a) no preferences or desires can properly be said to be irrational in themselves, and (b) the role of reason or rationality can only be confined to informing the agent with true beliefs about the world, and revealing the most effective means that could satisfy the agent’s current (...)
  20. The Demad for a New Concept of Anthropology in the Early Modern Age: The Doctrine of Hume.A. M. Malivskiy - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 10:121-130.
    Purpose. The purpose of the investigation is to outline the main points of Hume’s interpretation of the basic anthropological project of the era based on radical cultural transformations of the early modern age; to represent a modern vision of Hume's anthropology as a response to the demand of the era and necessity to complete its basic project. Methodology. The research was based on phenomenological and hermeneutic approaches. Originality. Contemporary understanding of the position of anthropological project in Hume's philosophy is regarded (...)
  21. Theory of Justice in David Hume’s Thought.Ahmad Vā”ezi - 2005 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 6 (24):31-53.
    Although David Hume is not a political philosopher in the normal meaning of the term, some of his viewpoints, including his special attitude on superiority of justice has left an impression on political thought. Based on his empirical approach, Hume presents a utilitarian attitude towards justice, and despite the common conception, he doesn’t consider justice as a natural virtue and intrinsic value; rather, in his opinion, its virtue depends on special circumstance. Explaining Hume’s viewpoint on justice in detail and indicating (...)
  22. Is Everyone Self-Interested? Hume Versus Mandeville.Fernando Morett - unknown
    David Hume has been largely read as a philosopher but not as a scientist. In this article I discuss his work exclusively as a case of science; in particular as a case of early modern science. I compare the combined moral psychology of self-interest and sympathy he argues for with the moral psychology of universal self-interest from Bernard Mandeville, presenting the controversy between the two as a case of theory choice under the normative methodology of the vera causa from the (...)
  23. The Philosophical Progress of Hume's Essays.Margaret Watkins - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    For those open to the possibility that philosophical thought can improve life, David Hume's Essays: Moral, Political, and Literary have something to say. In the first comprehensive study of the Essays, Margaret Watkins engages closely with these neglected texts and shows how they provide important insights into Hume's perspective on the breadth and depth of human life, arguing that the Essays reveal his continued commitment to philosophy as a discipline that can promote both social and individual progress. Addressing topics such (...)
  24. Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume's Philosophy by Jacqueline A. Taylor.Remy Debes - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):567-568.
    In this entry to David Hume scholarship, Jacqueline Taylor brings together a line of interpretation she has been developing over several years, connecting Hume's theory of the passions to what she calls Hume's "social theory." Through a concise, well-organized argument, the book offers insights into how one of the Enlightenment's most famous and gifted thinkers conceptualized social roles and institutions, the ways we navigate these roles and institutions, and how all this connects to the kind of creature we are. It (...)
  25. The Infidel and the Professor: David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought.Emily C. Nacol - forthcoming - Contemporary Political Theory:1-4.
  26. Una moral de la opacidad: Hume y la virtud del ocultamiento.Juan Samuel Santos Castro - 2018 - Isegoría 58:55-76.
    Are there any conditions under which to justify deliberately hiding or manipulating the expression of our opinions, emotions or character traits in front of others? this article examines David Hume’s answer to this question by discussing the practices that he calls good manners and impudence. the conclusion is that Hume’s description of the moral point of view allows for two conditions under which practices of opacity such as good manners and impudence can be morally assessed.
  27. Jean-Baptiste Du Bos’ Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting and Hume’s Treatise.James O. Young & Margaret Cameron - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (2):119-130.
    It has long been known that Jean-Baptiste Du Bos exercised a considerable influence on Hume’s essays and, in particular, on the ‘Of the Standard of Taste’ and ‘Of Tragedy’. It has also been noted that some passages in the Treatise bear marks of Du Bos’ influence. In this essay, we identify many more passages in the Treatise that bear unmistakable signs of Du Bos’ influence. We demonstrate that Du Bos certainly had a significant impact on Hume as he wrote the (...)
  28. Precis of Cognition and Commitment in Hume's PhilosophyCognition and Commitment in Hume's Philosophy.Don Garrett - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):185.
  29. Scottish Sentimentalism: Hume and Smith against moral egoism.María Alejandra Carrasco - 2018 - Veritas 39:55-74.
    Resumen Los filósofos sentimentalistas escoceses David Hume y Adam Smith proponen dos estrategias distintas para restringir las tendencias egoístas de la naturaleza humana. A pesar de las evidentes similitudes de sus propuestas morales, Smith encuentra dentro del ser humano la capacidad para transformar sus pasiones parciales y aspirar hacia ideales de perfección. El sentimentalismo de Hume, en cambio, no permite la autotransformación de la persona, y debe apoyarse en convenciones sociales para manipular y redirigir los impulsos egoístas desde fuera. Ambos (...)
  30. David Hume, William Wordsworth, and Environmental Sentiment.Mac Campbell - 2008 - Studies on Humanities and Ecology in Taiwan 10 (2).
  31. Philosophy and Ideology in Hume's Political Thought. David MillerDavid Hume: Common-Sense Moralist, Sceptical Metaphysician. David Hume, David Fate Norton.Russell Hardin - 1984 - Ethics 94 (3):534-536.
  32. Hume’s Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Psychology.Philip Reed & Rico Vitz - 2018 - London, UK: Routledge.
    Recent work at the intersection of moral philosophy and the philosophy of psychology has dealt mostly with Aristotelian virtue ethics. The dearth of scholarship that engages with Hume’s moral philosophy, however, is both noticeable and peculiar. Hume's Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Psychology demonstrates how Hume’s moral philosophy comports with recent work from the empirical sciences and moral psychology. It shows how contemporary work in virtue ethics has much stronger similarities to the metaphysically thin conception of human nature that Hume developed, (...)
  33. How Hume Influenced Contemporary Moral Philosophy.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe - 2018 - In Andrew Valls & Angela Coventry (eds.), David Hume on Morals, Politics, and Society. New Haven: Yale University Press. pp. 265-289.
  34. Book ReviewsRussell Hardin,. David Hume: Moral and Political Theorist. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. Pp. 260. $49.50. [REVIEW]Matthew Simpson - 2008 - Ethics 118 (3):549-553.
  35. Hume’s Better Argument for Motivational Skepticism.Elizabeth S. Radcliffe & Richard McCarty - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 21 (1):76-89.
    On a standard interpretation, Hume argued that reason is not practical, because its operations are limited to “demonstration” and “probability.” But recent critics claim that by limiting reason’s operations to only these two, his argument begs the question. Despite this, a better argument for motivational skepticism can be found in Hume’s text, one that emphasizes reason’s inability to generate motive force against contrary desires or passions. Nothing can oppose an impulse but a contrary impulse, Hume believed, and reason cannot generate (...)
  36. Pity and Sympathy: Aristotle Versus Plato and Smith Versus Hume.Christos Grigoriou - 2018 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 16 (1):63-78.
    The purpose of this paper is to build a parallelism between Aristotle’s debate with Plato on the merits of poetry and the debate of Hume with Smith on the nature of sympathy. My arguments is that the Aristotelian concept of pity, as presented in the Poetics, presupposes a mechanism of sympathy which is akin to the Smithian one, as articulated in his Theory of Moral Sentiments. Accordingly, I reconstruct Aristotle’s debate with Plato on poetry as a debate on the operation (...)
  37. Smith and Rousseau, After Hume and Mandeville.Paul Sagar - 2018 - Political Theory 46 (1):29-58.
    This essay re-examines Adam Smith’s encounter with Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Against the grain of present scholarship it contends that when Smith read and reviewed Rousseau’s Second Discourse, he neither registered it as a particularly important challenge, nor was especially influenced by, or subsequently preoccupied with responding to, Rousseau. The case for this is made by examining the British context of Smith’s own intervention in his 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments, where a proper appreciation of the roles of David Hume and Bernard (...)
  38. Virtudes y utilidad en David Hume y Jeremy Bentham.José L. Tasset - 2017 - Agora 36 (1).
    En este trabajo me voy a centrar en el análisis de la poco conocida crítica de la teoría de las virtudes de David Hume llevada a cabo por el padre del Utilitarismo clásico, Jeremy Bentham. Este trabajo defiende que la perspectiva humeana en esa teoría, basada en la distinción primordial entre virtudes naturales y artificiales, no sólo es compatible con el utilitarismo clásico, a pesar de las críticas de Jeremy Bentham, sino que puede contribuir a mejorarlo y desarrollarlo por medio (...)
  39. Imaginación y respuesta emotiva en obras de ficción: una aproximación desde la filosofía de David Hume.Leandro Guerrero - 2016 - Agora 35 (2).
    El trabajo estudia la teoría humeana de la creencia en vistas a una caracterización preliminar de la noción de ficción dentro de su teoría y a un vínculo con sus tesis estéticas, especialmente con la posibilidad de apreciar una obra de arte y de poder tener una respuesta emotiva a ella. Para ello, en primer lugar, caracterizamos la noción de creencia y la de ficción en relación a la imaginación. En segundo lugar, discutimos la noción de “sistema poético” y su (...)
  40. Universal Moral Standards Without an Archimedean Point : Hume's Refutation of Relativism in "A Dialogue".Bohlin Henrik - unknown
    An interpretation and evaluation is offered of Hume’s argument on cultural relativism in the essay ‘A Dialogue’. It is argued that Hume sets forth a typology of moral disagreement and for each type disputes the relativist conclusion that right and wrong varies between nations or historical epochs. When there are conflicting views on a moral matter, then either one side can be shown right and the other wrong, by arguments from principles which both sides accept, or more than one reasonable (...)
  41. Dannelse Og Modernitet- Et Motiv I David Humes Smafunnsfilosofiske Tenkning.Petter Nafstad - 2012 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 47 (3):181-192.
    This article reconstructs, from David Hume’s later writings, a theory of the significance of education for the civilizing process that must be part of social progress. It is claimed that this civilizing effect depends on three qualities of education. The first has to do with the content of education. An educated person should be able to discuss some important issues of contemporary society. Hume’s Essays may be read as a kind of catalogue of such issues. The second is a certain (...)
  42. David Hume nach 300 Jahren. Historische Kontexte und systematische Perspektiven.Brosow Frank & Klemme Heiner (eds.) - 2014 - Mentis.
  43. Verstehen durch Emotionen. Hume zum Problem des Fremdpsychischen (Understanding through Emotions).Anik Waldow - 2014 - In Frank Brosow & Heiner Klemme (eds.), David Hume nach 300 Jahren. Historische Kontexte und systematische Perspektiven. Münster: Mentis. pp. 128-148.
  44. The Cambridge Companion to Hume's Treatise.John Shand - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):887-889.
  45. Algunas precisiones acerca de la filosofía moral experimental de David Hume.Sofia Calvente - 2017 - Manuscrito 40 (3):51-86.
  46. Model Theory, Hume's Dictum, and the Priority of Ethical Theory.Jack Woods & Barry Maguire - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:419-440.
    It is regrettably common for theorists to attempt to characterize the Humean dictum that one can’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ just in broadly logical terms. We here address an important new class of such approaches which appeal to model-theoretic machinery. Our complaint about these recent attempts is that they interfere with substantive debates about the nature of the ethical. This problem, developed in detail for Daniel Singer’s and Gillian Russell and Greg Restall’s accounts of Hume’s dictum, is of (...)
  47. El peculiar realismo moral de David Hume.Miguel A. Badía Cabrera - 2007 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 42 (90):51-80.
  48. Commerce and Politics in Hume;s History of England.Jia Wei - 2017 - The Boydell Press.
  49. Hume, Rousseau and the Fragility of Friendship.Willem Lemmens - 2013 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 75 (3):431-454.
    Hume’s short and unlucky relation with Rousseau is a famous episode in the biography of these two towering figures of the Enlightenment. Undoubtedly, Hume’s fierce reaction towards the betrayal of Rousseau mirrors his high esteem of friendship as such. Though Hume never elaborated a systematic account of friendship, his writings contain numerous references to the pivotal role of this ”calm passion’ and ”virtue’ as a source of personal happiness and social harmony. This article reconstructs the encounter and quarrel with Rousseau (...)
  50. David Hume's Contribution to Social Science.Wilson D. Wallis - 1942 - In M. C. Nahm & F. P. Clarke (eds.), Philosophical Essays: In Honor of Edgar Arthur Singer, Jr. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 358-372.
1 — 50 / 3094