The fact that Hume places so much emphasis on the matter of approval or disapproval as a criterion o

The fact that Hume places so much emphasis on the matter of approval or disapproval as a criterion o

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Unformatted text preview: 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, Hume calls attention to the fact that there is present in all human beings a kind of humanitarian sentiment which naturally approves of that which is useful and serviceable to humanity and looks with disfavor on all those actions that are dangerous and pernicious. This does not mean that selfishness is excluded from human nature. It is very much a part of human nature and in many instances is so much stronger than any altruistic element that the latter may be completely...
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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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