Having explained the origin of moral virtues in terms of usefulness

Having explained the origin of moral virtues in terms of usefulness

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Unformatted text preview: Having explained the origin of moral virtues in terms of usefulness, Hume now proceeds to tell us why it is that human beings always do approve of usefulness and disapprove of that which is contrary to it. It seems to be necessary to do this because most moralists in the past have been reluctant to give this explanation for the so-called virtues. They have referred to a number of different principles as the basis for moral goodness, but in Hume's opinion they have not succeeded in giving a satisfactory account of the virtues, nor have they been able to show why it is that they have been preferred to other types of conduct. Usefulness as the foundation for morality has been rejected for a number of different reasons, but the chief one is the fact that it has usually been identified with selfishness. In common parlance, selfish actions have generally been regarded as evil, while selfishness....
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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.

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