Journal of Religious Ethics 28 (2):253 - 280 (2000)

By examining the theories of justice developed by Joseph Butler and David Hume, the author discloses the conceptual limits of their moral naturalism. Butler was unable to accommodate the possibility that justice is, at least to some extent, a social convention. Hume, who more presciently tried to spell out the conventional character of justice, was unable to carry through that project within the framework of his moral naturalism. These limits have gone unnoticed, largely because Butler and Hume have been misinterpreted, their relation misconstrued. Exegetes have persistently misunderstood the differences that divide them, have misconceived the notion of "public utility" in Hume's account of justice, have wrongly interpreted Butler as a forerunner of Immanuel Kant, and have altogether missed the degree to which Hume stands in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas
Keywords Hume  convention  Butler  justice  utility  Aquinas
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/0384-9694.00046
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: 53,066
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

Justice And Resentment In Hume, Reid, And Smith.Michael S. Pritchard - 2008 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (1):59-70.
Hume's Theory of Justice.Jonathan Harrison - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
Hume and the (False) Luster of Justice.Sharon R. Krause - 2004 - Political Theory 32 (5):628-655.
Hume and Mutual Advantage.J. Salter - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):302-321.
“Butler’s ‘Future State’ and Hume’s ‘Guide of Life’”,.Paul Russell - 2004 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 42 (4):425-448.
Butler and Hume.Terence Penelhum - 1988 - Hume Studies 14 (2):251-276.
Hume, Miracles and Lotteries.Dorothy P. Coleman - 1988 - Hume Studies 14 (2):328-346.


Added to PP index

Total views
50 ( #189,897 of 2,344,595 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #513,543 of 2,344,595 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes