Humean Sentimentalism and Non-Consequentialist Moral Thinking

Hume Studies 37 (2):165-188 (2011)
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Abstract

Of the many objections moral rationalists have raised against moral sentimentalism, none has been more long-lived and central than the claim that sentimentalism cannot accommodate the non-consequentialist aspects of our moral thinking. John Balguy raised an early version of the non-consequentialist objection just two years after Francis Hutcheson published the first systematic development of moral sentimentalism. As Balguy understood it, Hutcheson's sentimentalism implied that what makes an action virtuous is its effects, such as the advantages or pleasures it produces. According to Balguy, however, what we actually think makes an action virtuous is an intrinsic quality it possesses, which is independent of any ..

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Michael B. Gill
University of Arizona

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