Review Questions On The ECPM Set 2

Section V

1. Hume begins Section V by arguing that the social virtues are not wholly artificial (i.e. not the sole product of education). What role does Hume think that education plays with respect to the development of the virtues? Retrace Hume’s description of how the virtues arise.

2. Following his account of how the virtues arise, Hume takes up what he calls the “selfish theory” of how moral virtue arises. Give and explain the argument he gives against the “selfish theory”.

3. Consider Hume’s examples of the landlord, the theater-goer, poetry, and history. What general point is he trying to make with these examples? Support your answer with evidence from the text that follows his discussion of the examples.

4. Summarize Hume’s remarks about unqualified selfishness and ill will towards humanity. Do you agree with the conclusion of these remarks? Regardless of whether or not you agree, do you think he has shown what he is attempting to show with them?

Appendix I: Concerning Moral Sentiment

5. In the Appendix Hume returns to the theme with which he began. Describe as accurately as you can Hume’s conception of the role of reason and the sentiments in morality.

6. Hume gives five reasons why reason (alone) could not be the source of morality. Summarize each of the five reasons he gives, and critically reflect on the support he provides for each one. From an objective point of view, comment on the overall strength of his case against taking reason to be the source of morality.

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