The Subordinate Role of Reason in Hume's Moral Philosophy - Essay Example

Only on StudentShare

Extract of sample
The Subordinate Role of Reason in Hume's Moral Philosophy

Hume thought that what we perceive become images, and these images or pictures of reality are manipulated by reason. But, there is no manipulating these perceptions without the prior perceptions or sensations first: “I shall endeavor to prove first, that reason alone can never be a motive to an action of the will; and secondly, that it can never oppose passion in the direction of the will” [Cahn and Markie, Ed., 244]. What Hume is arguing, can be described as presenting a very sharp or definite distinction between “reason” which he calls “utterly impotent” when contrasted with the “passions” [Cahn and Markie, Ed., 247]. And, unlike the images that can be manipulated by reason, the relationship between the “passions” and “actions” is a direct one or as he phrases it: “morals excite passions, and produce and prevent actions ... the rules of morality, therefore, are not conclusions of our reason” [Cahn and Markie, Ed., 247]. Most might maintain that reason and the senses have a more connected or inter-twined relationship. It is important to stress that reason is only connected to 'necessary' types of truths like mathematical equations. That is, truths that are valid regardless of sense experience. ...
Download paper

Summary

The Subordinate Role of Reason in Hume's Moral Philosophy: To understand the moral philosophy of David Hume, it is important to understand that it is in some regards inseparable from his theory of knowledge. For Hume, there was a sharp distinction between that which is perceived by the senses, and that which is known through reason…
Author : fbartell

Related Essays

Moral Philosophy
The tone of much writing suggests that John Stuart Mill is still alive and that none of the twentieth century has happened. (‘Never such innocence again’ has not been applied to ethics.) [Glover hopes] to help change this by encouraging an idea of ethics as a more empirical subject.”2 Applied ethics basically says that one takes an ethical principle, and applies it to a real-life situation. For example, if a parent says to a young child to clean up his toys, the Bible teaches that young children should honor their parents. In this situation, the applicable ethical point that is made is...
10 pages (2510 words) Essay
Hume's Philosophy about reason and Passion
Hume’s philosophy about Reason & Passion David Hume was a historian & philosopher in the mid of 18th century from Scotland. Born on May 7, 1711 & died on August 25, 1776, Hume was one of the most important philosophers of that time & is regarded with many great western philosophers of modern times. He was famous for his philosophical ideas about human empiricism & skepticism. He purposed the ideas of passion that they drive human beings rather than logical reasoning or thinking. Hence he was a contemporary of Rene Descartes, a French philosopher of 17th century, who argued that human mind is...
3 pages (753 words) Essay
Nietzsche Moral Philosophy
Nietzsche aims at freeing human beings from their false consciousness about the issue of morality. He wants to free people from the idea that morality is good for them and not for the society (Richardson 20). Nietzsche forms an argument that free from the moral prejudices that he believes clouds the metaphysical pursuit and inquiries of science. Nietzsche concept of slave and master morality Master and slave morality is a key theme of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche presented that there are two types of morality. These include master and slave morality. Master morality majorly...
7 pages (1757 words) Essay
Moral Journeys Philosophy Essay
In his article Hardin contrasts two metaphors: “spaceship metaphor” and “lifeboat metaphor”. The first metaphor represents the egalitarian model of distributive justice, which the author considers unreasonable: The spaceship metaphor can be dangerous when used by misguided idealists to justify suicidal policies for sharing our resources through uncontrolled immigration and foreign aid. (Hardin) The latter is a new concept introduced by Hardin. “Lifeboat ethics” advocates the state-centered approach to justice: First, we must recognize the limited capacity of any lifeboat. For...
5 pages (1255 words) Essay
Hume's
Nevertheless, if a miracle occurs, we are asked to consider something that is divergent to all other understanding. Hume thus far argues that “miracles must be unique or (almost unique) occurrences otherwise fall within cumulative course of nature despite how rare and extraordinary the activity may be.”Provided with this interpretation of miracles, known desecrations of the decree of nature, how we should we analyze assertions that miracles have taken place? Hume depends on a principle that claims that a logical person proportions his belief to the testimony (Hume, 2007). Hume...
7 pages (1757 words) Essay
Moral Philosophy
Locke shows in Part V of the Second Treatise that in essence, the right to property springs from natural law, and is ordained in so many words by God himself. He begins by saying that all of the earth after all is given to men so that he may find in it his home and his sustenance, and in so far that he enjoys all the fruits of the earth without his interventions he shares all of the earth with his fellow men as common property. Then he goes on to say that be that as it may, the work of the hands of men in his own capacity is and the fruits of his own labors must be his own property. The...
4 pages (1004 words) Essay
Philosophy - Moral Theory
Theories have been developed with time with an aim of expressing long time thoughts and admiration of a phenomenon in order to convince society or a certain setting on the importance and relevance of the subject matter. Majority of theories are presented through generalized abstracts illustrating the theorist’s conclusion or view over particular phenomenon and/or estimated/ forecasted strategies of achieving and understanding the same phenomenon but on a broader perspective. In contextual and epistemological analysis, theories differ with hypotheses in that they provide explanatory framework...
3 pages (753 words) Essay
Got a tricky question? Receive an answer from students like you! Try us!