A Treatise on Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects and, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion - Vol. 2

A Treatise on Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects and, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion - Vol. 2

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A Treatise on Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects and, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion - Vol. 2

A Treatise on Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects and, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion - Vol. 2

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In his speculation on morals, no less than on knowledge, Hume follows the lines laid down by Locke. With each there is a precise correspondence between the doctrine of nature and the doctrine of the good. Each gives an account of reason consistent at least in this that, as it allows reason no place in the constitution of real objects, so it allows it none in the constitution of objects that determine desire and, through it, the will. With each, consequently, the 'moral faculty,' whether regarded as the source of the judgments 'ought and ought not,' or of acts to which these judgments are appropriate, 'can only be a certain faculty of feeling, a particular susceptibility of pleasure and pain. The originality of Hume lies in his systematic effort to account for those objects, apparently other than pleasure and pain, which determine desire, and which Locke had taken for granted without troubling himself about their adjustment to his theory, as resulting from the modification of primary feelings by 'associated ideas.' 'Natural relation,' the close and uniform sequence of certain impressions and ideas upon each other, is the solvent by which in the moral world, as in the world of knowledge, he disposes of those ostensibly necessary ideas that seem to regulate impressions without being copied from them; and in regard to the one application of it as much as to the other, the question is whether the efficiency of the solvent does not depend on its secretly including the very ideas of which it seems to get rid.

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