A Humean Naturalistic Moral Theory

Dissertation, University of Alberta (Canada) (2001)

Authors
Augustine Frimpong-Mansoh
Northern Kentucky University
Abstract
This thesis is a Humean dialogue with David Hume on his influential ideas that are of contemporary philosophical influence and importance, in particular his ideas on the relation between morality and science. It interprets Hume's view of science in terms of his theory of causation and examines the connection that his causal theory of scientific explanation bears with his moral theory. The connection that Hume's causal theory bears with his moral theory has not been sufficiently appreciated and given a serious attention. This thesis defends the connection and argues that Hume's naturalism about morality defends continuity between moral inquiries and scientific investigations in terms of their explanatory functions. Hume defended a moral science to ground moral explanations and judgments in scientific foundation. Naturalism is often confused with realism. Rejecting recent interpretation of Hume as a "naturalistic realist," I argue that Hume saw moral truths as not validated by mind-independent moral facts, as realist claim. Instead, in the Humean account, we induce moral truths from values that we project onto the world by collective agreement. This idea is supported by Hume's convention theory of collective agreement. Hume's causal theory of moral behavior raises many puzzles. It seems that his naturalistic theory cannot say anything coherent about free human agency and judgments of moral responsibility. His theory also raises issues about moral luck. The thesis discusses the problems and many more, such as the place of normativity in Hume's naturalism about morality. My Humean dialogue with Hume is an effort to reconstruct his ideas in a clearer and systematic fashion in response to new insights and challenges raised by our contemporary philosophical and scientific developments. My objective is not to respond to Hume's arguments as repositories of dead historical ideas to be criticized and dismissed. Rather, I engage in a dialogue with the rich ideas of Hume as a sympathetic and questioning reader to reawaken them into a new life by rearguing them in sustained and systematic ways that make the best out of them, and examine what can be learned from them.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,209
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Portraits of the Humean Moral Agent.Kate Abramson - 2002 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 83 (4):301–334.
Causation as a Philosophical Relation in Hume.Graciela De Pierris - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):499 - 545.
John Passmore and Hume's Moral Philosophy.Keith Campbell - 1985 - Hume Studies 11 (2):109-124.
Ethics and Epistemology in Hume.Kevin Meeker - 2013 - The European Legacy 18 (4):457-466.
Is Hume a Moral Skeptic?James Fieser - 1989 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (1):89-105.
Hume’s Theory of Business Ethics Revisited.William Kline - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 105 (2):163-174.
Causation as a Philosophical Relation in Hume.Graciela De Pierris - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):499-545.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-05

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes