Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):367 - 388 (1996)

The merchant's toil, the sage's indolence,The monk's humility, the hero's pride,All, all alike, find Reason on their side.Hume's moral philosophy is often interpreted as an example of a naturalistic approach to ethics. J.L. Mackie, for instance, writes that in Hume the questions of moral philosophy are answered ‘in sociological and psychological terms, by constructing and defending a causal hypothesis.’ Similarly, Páll S. Árdal claims that Hume ‘is concerned with an attempt to discover those psychological laws that explain human emotions and the behaviour of people in society.’ I argue in this essay that if Hume is read in this way as developing a general explanatory theory of moral sentiments, he faces an inescapable dilemma. Section I presents the dilemma. In sections II and ill, I argue why for Hume — interpreted as a proponent of general psychological laws — there is no way out of this dilemma.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0045-5091
DOI 10.1080/00455091.1996.10717458
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Whose Justice? Which Rationality?Alasdair Macintyre - 1988 - Journal of Religious Ethics 16 (2):363-363.

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