Is Hume an internalist?

Journal of the History of Philosophy 26 (1):69-87 (1988)
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Hume is committed, By one of his criticisms of reason as the route to moral knowledge, To an internalist position. In the argument from motivation, Hume starts by observing that morality is practical--That morals excite passions and produce or prevent actions. But, Hume argues, Rationalist moral theories cannot explain how moral considerations motivate. This is because reason alone is incapable of motivating us. The premise that morality is practical, However, May be interpreted in two ways--Either in an externalist or internalist manner. Charity requires us to adopt the internalist reading because only then is the argument valid. An internalist reading of the argument, However, Commits hume, In his constructive phase, To construing the moral sentiments of approval and disapproval as possessing motivational influence by themselves. But an examination of what hume has to say about the motives that prompt us to do what is right shows that he fails to provide such an account himself. This points to an inconsistency in hume's moral theory



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