David Hume (1711-1776) was one of the leaders in the empiricist approach to ethi


David Hume (1711-1776) was one of the leaders in the empiricist approach to ethics. He built on the work of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and others but tried to be even more consistent in his empiricism than they were.
Hume argues against the traditional conception of ethics based on the “moral realism” handed down from Plato and Augustine, replacing their doctrine that reason was the source of moral principles with his own theory that moral principles are based on emotion (FILE ATTACHED), in particular on feelings of conscience, or moral sense.
Hume knew that his theory was likely to bring a negative response, so he argued carefully against moral realism before presenting his own theory.
In the passage from Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature book 3, part 1, section 1, #24 (Human Nature: A Reader p. 144-145), Hume presents what he regards as a conclusive argument against moral realism. Explain this argument and explain whether you think it is effective or not. It’s a tricky argument, so try to understand it clearly before being critical.
–If you don’t have the text, the passage can be found here on p. 240.
https://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/hume1740book3_1.pdf


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