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Hume's MoralityFeeling and Fabrication$
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Rachel Cohon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268443.001.0001

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Criticizing Hume's List of Virtues and Vices

Criticizing Hume's List of Virtues and Vices

(p.239) 9 Criticizing Hume's List of Virtues and Vices
Hume's Morality

Rachel Cohon (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the question whether Hume sees himself as merely a psychologist describing the human mind and its moral proclivities, or also as an advocate for a particular way of life or list of virtues and vices that should replace its competitors, and so a potential critic of socially accepted lists of virtues and vices. It is argued that Hume makes normative claims on behalf of the traits he lists as virtues and vices, and that his moral theory provides readers with some grounds on which to criticize the shared ethical standards of a particular society or historical era, though not adequate grounds to enable a reader to make all the criticisms he or she might wish to make.

Keywords:   Hume, psychologist, human mind, virtues, vices, moral theory

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