By James Bailie
David Hume (1711-76) is among the maximum figures within the background of British philosophy. Of all of Hume's writings, the philosophically such a lot profound is certainly his first, A Treatise on Human Nature. Hume on Morality introduces and assesses: Hume's lifestyles and the history of the Treatise; the guidelines and textual content within the Treatise; and Hume's carrying on with significance to philosophy.
James Baillie presents us with a map to Books 2 and three of the Treatise, targeting Hume's thought of the passions and morality. This booklet units out its significant rules and arguments of the Treatise in a transparent and readable method and is perfect for somebody coming to Hume's paintings for the 1st time.
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As Alasdair MacIntyre says: The passions of each person are therefore inescapably characterized in part as responses to others who are in turn responding to us. So in the reciprocities and mutualities of passion, whether harmonious or antagonistic, each self conceives of itself as part of a community of selves, each with an identity ascribed by others. Personal identity as socially imputed has emerged from the characterization of the passions, and so to that extent the way of ideas has been left behind.
Indeed, they were considered derivative forms of indirect passions, being the consequence of hatred and love. The only way to make Hume consistent here is to take him to be discussing different types of desire and aversion. So, one might say that the indirect passions of anger and benevolence are motivationally active, being desires to inflict this harm or help on particular persons, whereas the section on direct passions is discussing a more abstract form of desire, applying more to hypothetical situations rather than to concrete events and persons.
When the initial pleasure or pain strikes us as inevitable, we experience joy or grief respectively. When the prospects are less than certain, such that both are believed to be possible, we experience hope or fear depending on which outcome seems more probable. He describes these states as mixtures of grief and joy, produced by the mind’s being unable to settle, fluctuating between the two potential outcomes. Desire and aversion are produced when pleasure and pain are ‘consider’d simply’, that is, when we think of a situation abstractly, without the idea that it might actually occur.