Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Should you think about your duty, or about the consequences of your actions? Or should you concentrate on becoming a good person?

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Veritas Aequitas
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Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

In "A Treatise of Human Nature"
Book II Part III Section III
Of the influencing motives of the will
.

Hume wrote:
in "[ ]" = mine for emphasis
  • Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions,
    and [reason] can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them [passions].
    pg. 415
Hume provided various explanations to support his point.

Do you agree with Hume?
If yes or no, why?
Last edited by Veritas Aequitas on Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4883
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

Note the irony,
Hume claimed 'no ought from is'
but in the above he claimed 'ought only' from "is" [mental state of affair] in his point,
thus seemingly contradicting his "Hume Guillotine".

Yes? No?
Veritas Aequitas
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Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/maga ... sophy-hume

Is reason the slave of the passions?
Two contributors debate David Hume's bold challenge to the primacy of pure logical thinking
by Baggini and Jenkins

Has anyone any new perspectives to this old argument?
surreptitious57
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Re: Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Post by surreptitious57 »

Hume wrote:
Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them
Why must logic serve emotion ? Why cannot they simply co exist ?
Humans are both emotional beings and logical beings and so why cannot there be a natural harmony between the two ?
Sometimes choices will be emotional and sometimes logical and so conflict between them may not always be avoidable
However compatibility should still be the default position simply because that makes for a more balanced state of mind
Veritas Aequitas
Posts: 4883
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:41 am

Re: Hume: Reason is Slave to Passion

Post by Veritas Aequitas »

surreptitious57 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:24 am
Hume wrote:
Reason is and ought only to be the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them
Why must logic serve emotion ? Why cannot they simply co exist ?
Humans are both emotional beings and logical beings and so why cannot there be a natural harmony between the two ?
Sometimes choices will be emotional and sometimes logical and so conflict between them may not always be avoidable
However compatibility should still be the default position simply because that makes for a more balanced state of mind
Agree, basically both reason and emotions must work together in complementarity.

However I believe reason the later-emerge-faculty via evolution must have a slight edge over emotions.

I quoted this very often,
  • Anybody can become angry - that is easy,
    but to be angry
    with the right person and
    to the right degree and
    at the right time and
    for the right purpose, and
    in the right way
    - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
    -Aristotle
The above is where impulse control comes into play and this necessitate the faculty of reason in interaction with other advance faculties to maintain an effective faculty of impulse control.

I believe during Hume's time there was a lack or absence of neurosciences and the more advance knowledge of the brain, mental faculties and others. This is why Hume had such a narrow view of reason.
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