A Humean approach to assessing the moral significance of ultra-violent video games

Ethics and Information Technology 10 (1):1-10 (2008)
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Abstract

Although the word empathy only recently came into existence, eighteenth century philosopher, David Hume, significantly contributed to our current understanding of the term. Hume was among the first to suggest that an empathic mechanism is the central means by which we make ethical judgments and glean moral knowledge. In this paper, I explore Hume's moral sentimentalism, and I argue that his conception of empathy provides a surprisingly apposite framework for interpreting and addressing a current issue in practical ethics: the moral significance of ultra-violent video games. Ultimately, I attempt to show that a Humean account of morality uniquely explains the dangers of ultra-violent video gaming by elucidating a direct connection between playing such games and moral harm.

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Monique Wonderly
University of California, San Diego

Citations of this work

The incorrigible social meaning of video game imagery.Stephanie Patridge - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 13 (4):303-312.
Defending the morality of violent video games.Marcus Schulzke - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (2):127-138.
Video Games and Ethics.Monique Wonderly - 2017 - In Joseph C. Pitt & Ashley Shew (eds.), Spaces for the Future: A Companion to Philosophy of Technology. New York: Routledge. pp. 29-41.
Value, violence, and the ethics of gaming.Michael Goerger - 2017 - Ethics and Information Technology 19 (2):95-105.

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References found in this work

Moral Sentimentalism.Michael Slote - 2009 - New York, US: Oxford University Press USA.
Moral Sentimentalism.Michael Slote - 2004 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (1):3-14.
Is it wrong to play violent video games?McCormick Matt - 2001 - Ethics and Information Technology 3 (4):277–287.
Locating the wrongness in ultra-violent video games.David I. Waddington - 2007 - Ethics and Information Technology 9 (2):121-128.
Hume's Moral Ontology.David Fate Norton - 1985 - Hume Studies 1985 (1):189-214.

View all 7 references / Add more references