Of The Standard of Sentiments: Hume on Virtue and Beauty

  • Author / Creator
    Goodine, Elliot J
  • Objectors to Hume’s sentimentalist moral theory charge that a system of morality grounded in sentiments cannot provide us with a set of standards that are stable across times and places. Hume addresses this worry in his appeal to what he calls the General Point of View, accounting for how we correct sentiments. Many explanations of the GPoV rely heavily on the perceptual analogy, comparing moral judgment to sense-perceiving physical objects. I explain the perceptual analogy, and then show its limitations for explaining Hume’s moral theory. In the second section, I explain Hume’s analogy between virtue and beauty. I show how Hume characterizes the correction of aesthetic sentiments in his essay “Of The Standard of Taste,” and then I show how the analogy between beauty and virtue can help us to defend Hume against his objectors, and that the aesthetic analogy helpfully explains Hume’s theory of morals.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2012
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Welchman, Jennifer (Philosophy)
    • Binhammer, Katherine (English and Film Studies)
    • Hunter, Bruce (Philosophy)