13. Monday, November 1, 2010

13. Monday, November 1, 2010 - PHL281 - Monday, November 1,...

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PHL281 - Monday, November 1, 2010 The Permissibility of Suicide: David Hume David Hume • 18th-century Scottish philosopher • Leading empiricist : all of our fundamental concepts ultimately depend on experience Naturalist : must account for mental capacities using scientific methods Sceptic : philosophy cannot vindicate our tendencies to believe, including those used in science - philosophy cannot do as much as one wanted to • Atheist (downplayed in suicide essay) - one of the first atheists to write philosophy “Sentimentalist” in ethics: value depends on our common human ways of feeling the sentiments of approval and disapproval - Morality is “gilded and stained” on the natural world Major works: A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals (1751) Hume thinks that in making a moral judgement, we are observing someone's behavior - and feels approval or disapproval vice: patterns of behavior then when collectively observed to cause displeasure does not look at this as an rational control over our lives, but our reactions to things “Of Suicide” • Written for a collection of essays to be published in 1755 • Withdrawn, along with “Of the Immortality of the Soul,”at the last minute - Last Scottish heretic executed in 1696 • Circulated in samizdat nonetheless Dismantles Aquinas’s three arguments against suicide 1st and 3rd Arguments: God and Nature Aquinas : We “naturally” love ourselves. Therefore “natural law” forbids suicide.
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13. Monday, November 1, 2010 - PHL281 - Monday, November 1,...

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