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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Issue no.33 /2011



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Epistemic virtues and transparency    
Justified Concepts and the Limits of the Conceptual Approach to the A Priori    
The Quest for Purity: Another Look at the New Wittgenstein    
Reassessing the Epistemological Challenge to Mathematical Platonism    
Knowing Wrongly: An Obvious Oxymoron, or a Threat for the Alleged Universality of Epistemological Analyses?    
Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem    
Translated Title: Sentimentalism and the Is-Ought Problem
Publication: Croatian Journal of Philosophy (33/2011)
Author Name: Iwasa, Noriaki;
Language: English
Subject: Philosophy
Issue: 33/2011
Page Range: 323-352
No. of Pages: 30
File size: 167 KB
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Summary: Examining the moral sense theories of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith from the perspective of the is-ought problem, this essay shows that the moral sense or moral sentiments in those theories alone cannot identify appropriate morals. According to one interpretation, Hume’s or Smith’s theory is just a description of human nature. In this case, it does not answer the question of how we ought to live. According to another interpretation, it has some normative implications. In this case, it draws normative claims from human nature. Anyway, the sentiments of anger, resentment, vengeance, superiority, sympathy, and benevolence show that drawing norms from human nature is sometimes morally problematic. The changeability of the moral sense and moral sentiments in Hume’s and Smith’s theories supports this idea. Hutcheson’s theory is morally more appropriate because it bases morality on disinterested benevolence. Yet disinterested benevolence is not enough for morality. There are no sentiments the presence of which alone makes any action moral.
Keywords: Francis Hutcheson; David Hume; Adam Smith; moral sense; moral sentiment; human nature; is-ought problem; metaethics; ethics
Marco Buzzoni: Thought Experiment in the Natural Sciences    
Peter Swirski: Literature, Analytically Speaking: Explorations in the Theory of Interpretation, Analytic Aesthetics, and Evolution    
Robert C. Stalnaker: Our Knowledge of the Internal World    
Stephen M. Gardiner: A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change