Hume Versus Kant Essay examples

1488 Words May 10th, 2006 6 Pages
Hume and Kant offered two differing views on morality. Hume's philosophy regarding moral theory came from the belief that reason alone can never cause action. Desire or thoughts cause action. Because reason alone can never cause action, morality is rooted in us and our perception of the world and what we want to gain from it. Virtue arises from acting on a desire to help others. Hume's moral theory is therefore a virtue-centered morality rather than the natural-law morality, which saw morality as coming from God. Kant's notion of morality stems from his notion of one universal moral law. This law is pertinent to all people and can be used at all times before carrying our actions According to Kant, you ought to act according to the maxim …show more content…
Hume believed that reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions. He argued that reason is used to discover the causes of pain or pleasure, but it is the prospect of pain or pleasure that causes action, not the reasoning alone, as that is entirely indifferent to us. This notion of always being motivated by pleasure or pain is very important, as it follows from this that when we act morally, it is a desire that makes us act and not reason. Since morals, therefore, have an influence on the actions and affections, if follows that they cannot be derived from reason, and that because reason alone, as we have already proved, can never have any such influence. Kant takes a different approach in his ethical theory and the understanding of morality and what is morally good. For Kant moral goodness is defined as goodwill, and that we as humans have a moral obligation to do what is right. He says that moral worth is seen much clearer if someone does things out of duty. Opposite of what Hume says Kant believes that feelings and inclinations are irrelevant and that feelings are not what drive moral obligations. Then how does Kant justify what is morally obliged? He has cancelled out feelings, and has left it as an obligation for people. For Kant first you must take out all feelings. Moral obligation must be binding for everyone. If any

Related Documents