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Unformatted text preview: Several of Hume's contemporaries, as well as his predecessors, had given support to the rationalistic conception of ethics, and he was anxious to correct the errors which he saw in the views they had presented. His method for doing this was quite in harmony with the spirit of empiricism, which was being emphasized in the scientific inquiries of his day. In contrast with the rationalists, who had derived their principles of morality by making deductions from metaphysical assumptions, Hume believed it was necessary to study the facts of human experience and to draw only those conclusions which are warranted by the facts. He regarded the attempt to base morality on one's conception of the nature of the universe a misguided one. Any knowledge that can be gained with reference to morals must come from a different source. He therefore proposes to begin the inquiry by examining the way in which moral ideas have been...
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at University of Houston.
- Fall '11