Reason and Feeling in Hume's Action Theory and Moral Philosophy. Hume's Reasonable Passion

Author: Shaw, Daniel
Based upon a study of arguments in the Treatise and the Enquiry, this work proposes a theory of motivation and of the making of moral judgments which is Humean in two important ways: it defends (1) Hume's anti-rationalist claim that reason alone cannot either motivate action or lead to the making of moral judgment, and (2) Hume's 'sentimentalist' claim that feeling is always essentially involved in both.


". . . gives a sympathetic but critical discussion of what is important and enduring in Hume's account of the relations between reason, passion, and action and his account of the nature of moral judgement. As someone who taught Hume's ethics for many years and engaged with just these issues, I recognise the clear and robust way in which Dan Shaw presents the main theses. This discussion shows well how Hume anticipated many of the issues which have been prominent in 20th century ethics. I warmly commend this work." - Dr. Nigel Dower

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface, Introduction
1. Hume's Antirationalism: The Main Antirationalist Argument; The 'Two-Kinds-of-Reasoning' Argument; The Challenge from Practical Reason; The Slave Metaphor; The 'No-Representative-Quality' Argument; The Three Mad Preferences
2. Hume's Theory of Motivation, Part One - Prudential Motivation: The Calm-Passions Argument; Stroud's and Nagel's Non-Experiential Accounts of Motivating Desires; Motives as Dispositions to have Desire-Experiences; Reinterpreting Hume on the Calm Passions
3. Hume's Theory of Motivation, Part Two - Moral Motivation: The Strip-Down Argument; Letting Passions in by the Back Door; The Authority of Moral Requirements; Smith's View; Further Support for the Counter-Example Argument
4. Hume's Moral Sentimentalism: Feeling as Essential to Moral Judgment; The Problem of Interpreting Hume's Sentimentalism; Stroud's Solution - The Projection Theory; My Solution - The Power Account; The Autobiographical Element
Conclusion: Implications for Practical Ethics
Bibliography, Indexes of Names and Subjects