His opposition to them is based on the fact that they make no positive contribution toward the fulfi

His opposition to them is based on the fact that they make no positive contribution toward the fulfi

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Unformatted text preview: His opposition to them is based on the fact that they make no positive contribution toward the fulfillment of human needs. They do not advance a person's fortune. They do not make an individual a more valuable member of society. They do not qualify him for the entertainment of others, and neither do they increase his own capacity for self-enjoyment. Because they are neither agreeable nor useful in satisfying the needs of ourselves or of other people, it is a mistake to regard them as moral virtues which ought to be cultivated. The fact that Hume places so much emphasis on the matter of approval or disapproval as a criterion of morality has led some of his critics to charge that his doctrine is essentially a selfish one. However, a careful reading of the Enquiry shows beyond any doubt that this charge is an ill-founded one. Against those philosophers who have insisted that all human actions are selfishly motivated, one....
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