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Humean Moral Pluralism$
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Michael B. Gill

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714033.001.0001

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Humean Non-Consequentialist Ends

Humean Non-Consequentialist Ends

(p.55) 3 Humean Non-Consequentialist Ends
Humean Moral Pluralism

Michael B. Gill

Oxford University Press

Many have claimed that sentimentalists in general and Hume in particular cannot accommodate the non-consequentialist aspects of our moral thinking. This criticism can be found in thinkers such as John Balguy, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, and Stephen Darwall. This chapter argues that the criticism is unfounded. An examination of Hume’s account of the motivational influences of pride, love, and approval reveals that Humean sentimentalism implies a moral pluralism that includes not only consequentialist moral ends but non-consequentialist ones as well. For on Hume’s account, self-oriented passions (such as pride and approval of self) have an agent-relative character that distinguishes their motivational influence from other-oriented passions (such as love and approval of others), and that agent-relative character explains well our non-consequentialist concerns.

Keywords:   agent-relativity, John Balguy, Stephen Darwall, Immanuel Kant, non-consequentialism, moral motivation, John Rawls

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