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eBook An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals ePub

eBook An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals ePub

by David Hume

  • ISBN: 1406926132
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Subcategory: Politics
  • Author: David Hume
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hard Press; Reprint from 1777 edition (November 3, 2006)
  • Pages: 108
  • ePub book: 1203 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1300 kb
  • Other: mobi lrf azw txt
  • Rating: 4.6
  • Votes: 980


An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (EPM) is a book by Scottish enlightenment philosopher David Hume. In it, Hume argues (among other things) that the foundations of morals lie with sentiment, not reason.

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (EPM) is a book by Scottish enlightenment philosopher David Hume. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals is the enquiry subsequent to the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (EHU). Thus, it is often referred to as "the second Enquiry". It was originally published in 1751, three years after the first Enquiry.

Release Date: January 12, 2010.

An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding - is a book by the Scottish empiricist and philosopher David Hume, published in 1748. It was a simplification of an earlier effort, Hume s A Treatise of Human Nature, published anonymously in London in 1739 ndash;1740.

David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian ], economist, and essayist; the companion volume to this book is An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and his other writings include A Treatise of Human.

David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian ], economist, and essayist; the companion volume to this book is An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and his other writings include A Treatise of Human Nature Volume 1,A Treatise of Human Nature Volume 2,Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion,The Natural History of Religion, et.

DISPUTES with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except .

DISPUTES with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. Those who have denied the reality of moral distinctions, may be ranked among the disingenuous disputants; nor is it conceivable, that any human creature could ever seriously believe, that all characters and actions were alike entitled to the affection and regard of everyone.

Morals, by David Hume. This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with. almost no restrictions whatsoever.

An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. One fee. Stacks of books. Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once).

Two of David Hume’s most important works of moral philosophy, epistemology, and psychology . SECTION XI. of the academical or sceptical philosophy. AN ENQUIRY concerning the PRINCIPLES OF MORALS. SECTION . of the general principles of morals

Two of David Hume’s most important works of moral philosophy, epistemology, and psychology which together were supposed to make up Hume’s science of man. They are a revised version of his earlier work A Treatise of Human Nature which appeared in 1739. of the general principles of morals. SECTION I. of benevolence. SECTION II. of justice.

Start by marking An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals as. .In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Hume gives an overview on his epistemology, while in An Enquiry Concerning.

Start by marking An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. Though this was the shortest of the books I've owned of Hume, it took me longest to read it. Though the argument is debated in typical Hume's fashion, its hard to ignore Plato's dialogues echoing every few pages. In An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Hume gives an overview on his epistemology, while in An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) he sets out his theory of human emotions. Hume's main thoughts on ethics are easy to summarize.


Ueledavi Ueledavi
Much difficult to read as compared to the other works. The problem is me, not the content. I hope to allocate more time for a more focused revision of the content.
Anarasida Anarasida
The text I received is not the one advertised (well, I guess it looks like the one in the picture). The advertisement identifies a certain Jorge Martinez as the editor; the text does not identify anyone as the editor. The advertisement includes the following blurb, which is found on the back cover of the text, and which piqued my interest: Schneewind's illuminating introduction succinctly situates the Enquiry in its historical context, clarifying its relationship to Calvinism, to Newtonian science, and to earlier moral philosophers, and providing a persuasive account of Hume's ethical naturalism: --Martha C. Nussbaum, Brown University. A promising account by the celebrated Nussbaum, and yet there is no introduction, by Schneewind or anyone else. There are no page numbers, the type is set in very small font, and footnotes are double-spaced. No publisher is identified. All we know is that the text was "Made in the USA, Middleton, DE." Oh, and printed the day I ordered it. Clearly, a fly-by-night operation. Stay away.
Uleran Uleran
This is the edition to have if you want to explore Hume's work in depth. A few volumes of Hume's principal works remain to be edited and released in three or four years. You will also want to get Mossner's biography (2nd edition) and the three volumes of Hume's letters, all available in print-to-order paperbacks if you cannot find the hardcovers.
Reddefender Reddefender
Very useful book. It is always difficult to read an old version of writing style, but that is an education in itself.
inetserfer inetserfer
I expected the original hardback with a dustjacket and got the plasticized "hardcover" version, which was not evident from the description.
Gir Gir
David Hume (1711-1776) was a Scottish philosopher, historian ], economist, and essayist; the companion volume to this book is An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, and his other writings include A Treatise of Human Nature Volume 1,A Treatise of Human Nature Volume 2,Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion,The Natural History of Religion, etc. [NOTE: page numbers below refer to the 158-page Bobbs-Merrill paperback edition.]

He notes, "We may observe that in displaying the praises of any humane, beneficent man there is one circumstance which never fails to be amply insisted on---namely, the happiness and satisfaction derived to society from his intercourse and good offices.... As these topics of praise never fail to be employed, and with success, where we would inspire esteem for anyone, may it not thence be concluded that the UTILITY resulting from the social virtues forms, at least, a PART of their merit, and is one source of that approbation and regard so universally paid to them?" (Sec. II, pg. 11)

He suggests, "Thus the rules of equity or justice depend entirely on the particular state and condition in which men are placed, and owe their origin and existence to that UTILITY which results to the public from their strict and regular observance. Reverse, in any considerable circumstance, the condition of men: produce extreme abundance or extreme necessity, implant in the human breast perfect moderation and humanity or perfect rapaciousness and malice; by rendering justice totally USELESS, you thereby totally destroy its essence and suspend its obligation upon mankind." (Sec. III, pg. 19)

He observes, "Those who ridicule vulgar superstitions and expose the folly of particular regards to meats, days, places, postures, apparel have an easy task, while they consider all the qualities and relations of the objects and discover no adequate cause for that affection or antipathy, veneration or horror, which have so mighty an influence over a considerable part of mankind... Such reflections as these, in the mouth of a philosopher, one may safely say, are too obvious to have any influence, because they must always, to every man, occur at first sight; and where they prevail not of themselves, they are surely obstructed by education, prejudice, and passion, not by ignorance or mistake." (Sec. III, pg. 28-29)

He points out, "even in common life, we have every moment recourse to the principle of public utility and ask, What must become of the world, if such practices prevail? How could society subsist under such disorders? Were the distinction or separation of possessions entirely useless, can anyone conceive that it ever should have obtained in society? Thus we seem... to have attained a knowledge of the force of that principle here insisted on, and can determine what degree of esteem or moral approbation may result from reflections on public interest and utility. The necessity of justice to the support of society is the SOLE foundation of that virtue; and since no moral excellence is more highly esteemed, we may conclude that this circumstance of usefulness has, in general, the strongest energy and most entire command over our sentiments." (Sec. III, pg. 33-34)

He argues, "it is impossible for men so much as to murder each other without statutes and maxims, and an idea of justice and honor. War has its laws as well as peace; and even that sportive kind of war, carried on among wrestlers, boxers, cudgel players, gladiators, is regulated by fixed principles. Common interest and utility beget infallibly a standard of right and wrong among the parties concerned." (Sec. IV, pg. 40)

He states, "Whatever is valuable in any kind, so naturally classes itself under the division of USEFUL or AGREEABLE... that it is not easy to imagine why we should ever seek further, or consider the question as a matter of nice research or inquiry. And as everything useful or agreeable must possess these qualities with regard either to the PERSON HIMSELF or to OTHERS, the complete delineation or description of merit seems to be performed as naturally as a shadow is cast by the sun, or an image is cast not broken or uneven, nor the surface from which the shadow is reflected disturbed and confused, a just figure is immediately presented without any art or attention." (Conclusion, pg. 96)

In the Appendix, "Concerning Moral Sentiments," he observes, "attend to Cicero while he paints the crimes of a Verres of a Cataline... But if you feel no indignation or compassion arise in you from this complication of circumstances, you would in vain ask him in what consists the crime or villainy which he so vehemently exclaims against; at what time or on what subject it first began to exist; and what has a few months afterwards become of it... No satisfactory answer can be given to any of these questions upon the abstract hypothesis of morals; and we must at last acknowledge that the crime or immorality is no particular fact or relation which can be the object of the understanding, but arises entirely from the sentiment of disapprobation which... we unavoidably feel on the apprehension of barbarity or treachery... It appears that the ultimate ends of human actions can never, in any case, be accounted for by REASON, but recommend themselves entirely to the sentiments and affections of mankind without any dependence on the intellectual faculties." (Pg. 110-111)

Surprisingly (to us), Hume said of this book in his autobiographical "My Own Life," that "in my own opinion ... [it] is of all my writings, historical, philosophical, or literary, incomparably the best." But while Hume's main philosophical arguments are actually presented more effectively in the Treatise, this is still "must reading" for anyone seriously studying philosophy.
Blacknight Blacknight
Hume, for most people, is largely defined by his work in metaphysics and epistemology. There's no doubt that his work in these areas is of signal importance, but I think a tendency to focus on these areas at the expense of his moral thinking suggests a somewhat misleading interpretation of what he's up to. It's really only in his non-moral works that the picture of Hume as a radical skeptic has much plausibility. For here it seems clear that Hume's primary aim in his moral works is to ground his philosophical theses in a careful consideration of human nature; and it's also clear that he doesn't intend this to be a skeptical and debunking account of morality.

Now, it's true that there are ways in which Hume is skeptical about a certain way of thinking about the origin and nature of morality. The fact that he thinks morality is based in human sentiments show that he is, in some sense, a subjectivist about morality. He doesn't think there is any plausible account of our moral thinking as based on reason or empirical inquiry alone. Against the view that our awareness of moral distinctions is based on the exercise of reason, he argues that we do not figure out whether a person is virtuous or vicious, or an action good or bad, simply by thinking about things. And against the view that our awareness of moral distinctions is empirical, he argues that we do not figure out which things possess which moral qualities by going out and looking or by anything else of this sort. Morality, then, is more a matter of feeling than a matter of thinking, observing, and reasoning.
Hume's basic argument for the conclusion that morality is based on human sentiment is that the essential practicality of morality requires us to understand its basis in this way. Morality is about action, and neither reasoning nor ordinary empirical inquiry can be the source of our moral thinking since they are impotent to prompt us to action. Reason does not motivate, and our moral judgments, concerns, sentiments are intimately connected to motivation. Nor does recognition of the empirical facts motivate all on its own. Motivation always requires the existence of certain conative states in addition to the relevant beliefs arrived at through reason and empirical inquiry. So, in order to account for the practicality of morality (i.e. for the connection between morality and motivation), we need something to make us care about moral goodness and badness; and that something is to be found within the emotional part of our nature.
But, importantly, Hume doesn't think this is indicative of some problem with morality, and so he doesn't understand himself to be undermining ordinary morality. His aim is to expose the groundless pretensions of reason in order to make room for a wholly naturalistic account morality; it's not to show that morality doesn't have a firm basis. For he does not think that morality would ideally be based on reason and empirical evidence rather than sentiment. Rather, he thinks there is a sort of philosophical overreaching involved in trying to base morality on reason or empirical evidence as opposed to sentiment.
So far, so good. But what is the relevant sentiment? According to Hume, it is a general sort of benevolence, of concern for others. At least where our own interests do not intrude on this feeling, we can take pleasure in the pleasure of others and we can be disturbed and pained by their pains and difficulties. Our possessing such a feeling does not mean that we'll always set aside our own interest in the interest of others; nor does it mean that we are not largely self-interested. It does, however, mean that we're not wholly self-interested, as we are motivated to do (and not do) certain things even when they do not affect our own interests and desires. Such a feeling, Hume argues, must be the basis for the sort of general and unselfish concern for welfare of others that morality requires of us. And since this sentiment is a common component of human nature, it provides morality with a non-parochial basis. The moral point of view, Hume argues, is one we take up when our sentiments and feelings about people and actions are based on a shared perspective based in human nature. And since we share similar sentiments and sensibilities in virtue of our shared nature, morality possesses a sort of intersubjectivity.
But what inspires these sentiments, and how exactly do they translate into moral judgments? Morality, Hume argues, is based on sentiments of approbation and disapprobation that are prompted by a recognition of the connection between human actions, dispositions, etc. and what is in the best interest of oneself and of mankind in general. What we take to be virtues, Hume argues, are those dispositions that lead a person to perform actions tending to promote his own happiness and the happiness of others, whereas vices are dispositions that do the opposite. And this allows us to see the source of Hume's optimism. For it is his view that being moral is in our own interest, and in the interest of others. The morally good person is one whose actions are for the good of himself and for the good of others, and this is why we approve of such people. This is why we find them pleasant, why we enjoy their company, and why we think it's a good thing to be virtuous. So this is anything but a dark, self-denying account of morality and our moral obligations. Morality is not a set of chains holding us back from realizing ourselves, from expressing our true nature. Given what our nature is actually like, Hume claims, there is no need to understand morality as involving self-abnegation for nothing more than self-abnegation's sake.
If I had to recommend a single book in moral philosophy to the general reader, I suppose it would be this one. There may be greater works of moral philosophy--Kant's works and Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, for instance--but those are works for the philosopher and this is a book for everyone. It's wise, accessible, inspiring, beautifully written, occasionally quite funny, and largely convincing.