The Alliance of Virtue and Vanity in Hume's Moral Theory

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (4):595-614 (2012)
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Abstract

In this article I argue that vanity, the desire for and delight in the favorable opinion of others, plays a fundamental role in Hume's account of moral motivation. Hume says that vanity and virtue are inseparable, though he does not explicitly say how or why this should be. I argue that Hume's account of sympathy can explain this alliance. In resting moral sentiment on sympathy, Hume gives a fundamental role to vanity as it becomes either a mediating motive to virtue or else strengthens the otherwise weak motive of moral sentiment.

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Philip Reed
Canisius College

Citations of this work

Hume on Pride, Vanity and Society.Enrico Galvagni - 2020 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 18 (2):157-173.
Critical Notice.Kyla Ebels-Duggan - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):549-573.
On Pride.Lorenzo Greco - 2019 - Humana Mente 12 (35):101-123.
Motivating Hume’s natural virtues.Philip A. Reed - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (S1):134-147.

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References found in this work

A treatise of human nature.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1969 - Harmondsworth,: Penguin Books.
The sources of normativity.Christine M. Korsgaard - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Onora O'Neill.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications. Edited by Elizabeth Schmidt Radcliffe, Richard McCarty, Fritz Allhoff & Anand Vaidya.
Ruling Passions: A Theory of Practical Reasoning.Simon Blackburn - 1998 - New York: Oxford University Press UK.
An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals.David Hume - 1751 - New York,: Oxford University Press UK. Edited by Tom L. Beauchamp.

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