Ethics 76 (3):208-211 (1966)

There are eight major misconceptions about Hume's moral theory. First,many believe that there is no essential difference between the Treatise and the Enquiry. Second, some commentators believe that Hume has an extraordinary theory about the moral point of view. Third, many assume that Hume has an explicit theory of moral judgment. Fourth, several commentators have attributed to Hume a multiple theory about the relationship between moral judgment and moral sentiment. Fifth, some assert that Hume has a qualified- or ideal-spectator theory of moral judgment based upon the extraordinary theory about the moral point of view. Sixth, some assert that Hume has an emotivist theory of moral judgment. Seventh, several commentatorshave either accused Hume of violating his own argument against inferring "ought" from "is" or they have sought to show how Hume is justified in making an inference from "is" to "ought" by having the "is" refer to a special class of statements about feelings. Finally, some assert that Hume is a utilitarian in his theory of moral judgment. I shall comment briefly on each of these misconceptions.
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DOI 10.1086/291586
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