Hume on the standard of virtue

Journal of Ethics 6 (1):43-62 (2002)
Among those sympathetic to Hume''smoral philosophy, a general consensus hasemerged that his first work on the topic,A Treatise of Human Nature, is his best. Hislater work, An Enquiry Concerning thePrinciples of Morals, is regarded as scaleddown in both scope and ambition. In contrastto this standard view, I argue that Hume''slater work offers a more sophisticated theoryof moral evaluation. I begin by reviewing theTreatise theory of moral evaluation tohighlight the reasons why commentators find socompelling Hume''s account of the corrections wemake to our moral sentiments. The method isendorsed by philosophers such as Henry DavidAiken and Annette C. Baier because, theyallege, it shows that moral sentiments reflecta process of judgment that includes thepossibility of corrigibility and ofjustification. But Hume''s method of correctionfalls short and does not establish why thesentiments conforming to the standard of virtueshould count as moral judgments. In the secondEnquiry, Hume lays out a different set ofcriteria, including not only the need forcertain virtues of good judgment but attentionto the particular cultural and historicalorigins of the norms governing the virtues ofgood judgment. Hume''s attention to diversityin evaluative outlook in his more matureposition takes seriously the relation betweenmoral authority and public debate.
Keywords common point of view  David Hume  moral judgment  moral sentiment  sentiment-based ethics  standard of virtue  virtue
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1015815518479
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 25,046
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Doxastic Virtues in Hume's Epistemology.Rico Vitz - 2009 - Hume Studies 35 (1/2):211-29.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
Sympathy and the Project of Hume's Second Enquiry.Kate Abramson - 2001 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 83 (1):45-80.
Walls and Vaults.[author unknown] - 2009 - Wiley.
In Defence of Hume's Historical Method.Alix Cohen - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):489 – 502.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

62 ( #79,804 of 2,119,072 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #294,698 of 2,119,072 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums