Any empirical approach to the study of morals must begin with an investigation of those activities which are approved by the vast majority of persons. Accordingly, Hume begins with an analysis of benevolence and justice. These two virtues are selected because there is no type of conduct which is approved more universally than acts of benevolence or of justice in one's treatment of his fellow men. Likewise, it can be said there is general disapproval of injustice and of those actions which serve selfish interests at the expense of the welfare of others.If we inquire concerning the reasons for this approval and disapproval, we will find that usefulness or the lack of it is the explanation which can be given for the different attitudes which are expressed.
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