Hume and practical reason: A non-sceptical interpretation

History of Political Thought 34 (1):89-113 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

It has become increasingly common to interpret Hume as a `sceptic' of practical reason. This means that Hume supposedly contests, not only the ability of reason to provide demonstrable truths, in the conventional rationalist sense, but also reason's ability to guide our practical action. Proponents of this reading include Jean Hampton, Elijah Millgram and Christine Korsgaard. If this `sceptical reading' of Hume is correct, he would lack the philosophical resources to justify his account of political justice. However, if examined further, this sceptical reading begins with deep-seated Kantian presuppositions about the role and function of practical reason. The paper critiques these presuppositions, arguing that they must be set aside in order to appreciate more fully how Hume does indeed have a proper theory of practical reason. Specifically, Hume believes practical reason encompasses the discursive articulation and evaluation of human character traits and moral values within the social context. These articulatory and intersubjective dimensions of practical reasoning emphasized in the Humean account could provide further theoretical inspiration for communitarian critiques of contemporary liberalism

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

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

Hume on practical reason.W. D. Falk - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (1):1 - 18.
Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason.Michelle Mason - 2005 - Hume Studies 31 (2):347-378.
Hume on practical reason.Kieran Setiya - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):365–389.
Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason.David Phillips - 2005 - Hume Studies 31 (2):347-378.
Practical reason and motivational scepticism.Paul Russell - 2006 - In Heiner F. Klemme, Manfred Kühn & Dieter Schönecker (eds.), Moralische Motivation. Kant und die Alternativen. Felix Meiner Verlag.
Is Hume an internalist?Charlotte Brown - 1988 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 26 (1):69-87.
Is Hume a Sceptic with Regard to Reason?Fred Wilson - 1984 - Philosophy Research Archives 10:275-319.
Hume and instrumental reason.J. Mintoff - 1998 - Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (4):519-538.
Hutcheson on Practical Reason.Stephen Darwall - 1997 - Hume Studies 23 (1):73-89.
Formal principles and the form of a law.Andrews Reath - 2010 - In Andrews Reath & Jens Timmermann (eds.), Kant's Critique of Practical Reason: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press.
Ethics and Epistemology in Hume.Kevin Meeker - 2013 - The European Legacy 18 (4):457-466.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-11-24

Downloads
38 (#422,001)

6 months
9 (#317,143)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Citations of this work

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references