Value in Fact: Naturalism and Normativity in Hume's Moral Psychology

Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (2):145-163 (2003)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Since it is Hume who famously asked how an "ought" can ever possibly be deduced from an "is," it is Hume who is typically cast as the representative of empiricism's inadequacy for doing the work of ethics. Yet, as I will show, in his description of the proper functioning of the passions that necessarily involve other persons and their evaluations of us, Hume provides a naturalistic description that is not reductive of value, but rather incorporates values into the very ground of empirical description. Contemporary moral philosophers who dismiss Hume's complex account of the passions as unnecessary for understanding his account of morals, and then fault the account of morals for its failure to move beyond mere description to any kind of normative assessment, ignore how the detail of Hume's own account of the passions suggests a way that an empirical account can in fact be value-laden, as we shall see.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,075

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Naturalism and Normativity.Seiriol Morgan - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (2):319 - 344.
Introduction: Science, naturalism, and the problem of normativity.Mario de Caro & David Macarthur - 2010 - In Mario De Caro & David Macarthur (eds.), Naturalism and Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Naturalistic Epistemologies and Normativity.Elisabeth Pacherie - 2002 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 2 (3):299-317.
Nonreductive materialism and the explanatory autonomy of psychology.Terence E. Horgan - 1993 - In Steven J. Wagner & Richard Warner (eds.), Naturalism: A Critical Appraisal. University of Notre Dame Press.


Added to PP

75 (#221,047)

6 months
17 (#149,054)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Hume's Epistemology: The State of the Question.Hsueh M. Qu - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (3):301-323.
Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem.Noriaki Iwasa - 2011 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 11 (3):323-352.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references