Hume and Humeans on Practical Reason

Hume Studies 31 (2):347-378 (2005)
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Abstract

Hume and contemporary “Humeans” have had prominent roles in reinvigorating the study of practical reason as a topic in its own right. I introduce a distinction between two divergent trends in the literature on Hume and practical reason. One trend, action-theoretic Humeanism, primarily concerns itself with defending a general account of reasons for acting, often one supposed to establish that moral reasons lack the categorical status the moral rationalist requires them to possess. The other trend, virtue-theoretic Humeanism, concentrates on defending the case for being an agent of a particular practical character, one whose enduring dispositions of practical thought are virtuous. I discuss work exemplifying these two trends and warn against decoupling thought about Hume’s and a Humean theory of practical reason from Hume’s and a Humean ethics. I conclude that the virtue-theoretic approach is a fruitful one for pursuing future work on Hume and Humeanism about practical reason.

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David Phillips
University of Houston

Citations of this work

Hume's internalism reconsidered.Dale Dorsey - 2007 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-24.

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References found in this work

The Normativity of Instrumental Reason.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1997 - In Garrett Cullity & Berys Gaut (eds.), Ethics and Practical Reason. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Was Hume a Humean?Elijah Millgram - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (1):75-94.
Was Hume a Humean?Elijah Millgram - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (1):75-93.

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