DAVID HUME’S EMOTIVE THEORY BACKGROUND • Born: May 7, 1711 at Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland • Son of Joseph Home and The Hon. Katherine (ńee Falconer) • Entered University of Edinburgh, considered law as a career but did not graduate. “ There is nothing to be learnt from a professor which is not to be met within books.” • Spent 10 years reading and writing, came to the verge of mental breakdown, suffering from what the doctor diagnose as “Disease of the Learned”. • He became merchant’s assistant at La Fleshe in Anjou, France. • Died: August 25, 1776 because of abdominal cancer. PHILOSOPHICAL WORKS • A Treatrise of Human • The History of England (6 volume, best seller) • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding Enquiry Concerning the Principal of Morals - greatest literacy and Philosophical achievements • Juvenilia: “A work which Author had projected before he left College”. • Essays, Moral, Political and Literary HUME’S INFLUENCES O THOMAS HOBBES O JOHN LOCKE Hume’s Influence when it comes to Philosophy •Moral Philosophy - science of human nature. •Human Nature - experience and observation. David Hume is known for his philosophical: •Empiricism - "experience" •Skepticism - doubting knowledge claims set forth in various areas. Hume's Influences led: •Immanuel Kant - critical philosophy •Auguste Comte - positivism •Jeremy Bentham & John Stuart Mill - utilitarianism HUME’S PHILOSOPHY: “ Sentiments or tastes, passion and emotions move people to actions not reason.” Emotive Theory • Refers to a theory about MORAL judgments, sentences, words, and speech; it is sometimes also extended to cover aesthetic and other non-moral forms of evaluation. (Encyclopedia.com) • A theory to which value judgments or normative ethical statements are exhortatory rather than cognitive. (Meriam-webster.com) He believed that human beings’ “sentiments or taste, passion, and emotions move people to actions not reason.” REASON is the slave of PASSION REASONS only provides information. - Ideas of pleasure or pain are the cause of these MOTIVATING PASSION. No matter what MORAL judgments one makes, one is only expressing their PERSONAL FEELING. HUME’S IDEA OF THE GOOD • Good is an evaluation of things and actions by human minds and emotions. • Good produces pleasure. • Hume’s idea of the Good is influenced by his theory of emotion. • The only feature of the Good which is justified is that it is the cause of pleasure. • For Hume, any other characteristics of the Good would be speculated in its character. • Moral sentiments are pleasure or pains of a special kind and causes are considered to be moral good and evil respectively. • Hume stance “a character” or act is morally good if it is useful or pleasant for a given person or any other person in questions. EMOTIVE THEORY REASON ALONE CAN MOTIVATE NOTHING ACTION IS REASONABLE IF IT SERVES THE AGENT GOALS OR DESIRE. EMOTIVE THEORY MORAL DISTINCTIONS ARE NOT DERIVED FROM REASON REASON IS THE SLAVE OF PASSION THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!